Work called me at 3:00 in the morning California time (6 in Atlanta) on my last day of vacation. They wanted me to show up for work at 7:00. Not happening, call someone else. Oh well, the overtime would have been nice to put the money back into savings that was spent on this trip.
We made it home last night. It was a good trip but I am so very glad to be back in my home territory. Everything from the roads, signs, vegetation, the mountains and flatlands, even the clouds are familiar. I would really be in trouble if TSHTF when I was on the east coast. The only thing I had going for me was a car with good gas mileage and a bunch of cash.
I never turned on the GPS and only got completely misplaced once. I missed a freeway onramp but noticed a sign that stood for highway. It said the highway number and South. I stupidly assumed the road would go south. I followed the thing for fifteen miles. I had no clue where I was other than somewhere in North Carolina. I didn't bother looking at the map when the town names came up, I just kept driving. Something didn't feel right. I wasn't going south. I decided to stop and the next gas station to fill up. Low and behold this was at a freeway off ramp. I had paralleled Interstate 40 for 15 miles going west. Not south like the road said…west. It made no sense to me but I figured out where I was and got back on the interstate to catch the road to South Carolina and then back to Georgia.
We did pack jam, beef jerky, and fruit rollups for the trip and ate out less than one time per day. I had enough food to last the 9 days we were gone but the kids did have fun eating out since that is something that we never do.
Daughter-in-law picked us up from the airport last night and brought us home. When we got home Army daughter and her family were all sleeping.
This morning I got the grandkids off to school and I started looking around to see if all was well around the house and property. Before we left Army daughter followed me around as I did my chores. She had notebook in hand and took lots of notes. There are four faucets she needed to turn on. Three just needed a turn of the wrist. The fourth includes picking up the hose and watering some plants in planters. If she turned the faucets on then fed the sheep and chickens and collected the eggs, she could turn the water off immediately after finishing these easy tasks.
Somehow turning the water on and off didn't quite compute. She did a great job turning the water on. Nothing was dead. She didn't quite do so well turning the water off. In the front where I have the strawberries and grapes if I forget to turn off the water for an hour or two I will get seepage of three or four feet of wet soil coming out of the planter into the lawn area. She left the water on for such a long time the ground was soaked about 30 or 40 feet away. This happened in the front, in the fruit tree orchards, and in the garden. The only thing she didn't flood was the animal waterers. The dog's pool was dry. The hose that goes into the sheep water tank got knocked to the ground. They did have water left in their tank, they just couldn't reach it.
That's all ok. The animals survived. The plants survived. The only thing that didn't was the soap dispenser at the kitchen sink. It ran out of soap but instead of pulling the lid off to refill it Army daughter unscrewed it from under the counter and behind the sink. She broke it. It's an easy fix other than having to make a trip to Home Depot or Lowes. I don't think I'm going to pick up a spare part for this. I don't think anyone else in the world would try to fill it by taking it all apart.
Oldest daughter usually comes over to check on things while I'm gone. This time she decided not to. She got an ear full from Army daughter about how impossible the list of chores was to do. Oldest daughter said she was just laughing as Army daughter complained. After all, if I go slowly it takes ½ hour to do these chores. If I'm really poking along, because I get side tracked pulling weeds or picking fruit or vegetables, then it could take an hour. I wish the outdoor chores were the only thing I have to do each day. I also have stuff to do in the house (laundry, cooking, cleaning) and hold down a full time job outside the house. She didn't have to do anything extra other than take care of the baby. If she hurried through my chores it could take 10-15 minutes…as long as she'd remember to turn the water back off.
The green gage plums are still on the tree and they are ripe. I was expecting them to all have fallen onto the ground before I got home. I'm going to do some canning this weekend. The apples and pears are ripe too. I'll leave plenty on the tree because the crop is so good I will have too many to can. Normally I cut the apples or pears into chunks and can them as pie filling. I can easily make a cobbler, crisp, or quickly blend them up into applesauce or pear sauce. Other than the persimmons, which ripen in October and November, this is the last canning of fruits for the season. I'll still have tomatoes and peppers to can. Other than that, it will all be eaten fresh.
Tomorrow we are going to have eggplant for dinner. There are dozens on the plants that are ready to pick. Right before I left we picked all that were larger than an egg. I'm still running on empty a bit from the trip. Things will get back to normal in a day or two.