Rollin' Thunder, Pourin' Rain

I’ve been dealing with a broken tailgate handle on my truck for many months, all because the Ford dealer wanted $45 for a new one. I would have gotten one from a junkyard, but there aren’t really any down here and I haven’t traveled up north for a long time. It finally occurred to me last week that I could probably get a non-OEM handle somewhere online, and duh!, I found one for $13. So, it arrived today and I installed it pretty easily. I had to do some modifications to the tailgate because it’s bent pretty badly (looks like somebody dropped an engine block on it), and I also bought a new set of sockets and wrenches because I needed a 10mm deep socket to finish installing the handle, and I still came in under the $45 that the dealer wanted for just the handle!
Yesterday afternoon, Traci, the kids, and I planted enough seeds for 46 plants for our vegetable garden. The kids got to choose a couple of plants that they wanted to grow, and they’ll go in large pots in the back yard so that they can water them (though I’m sure I’ll end up taking care of them instead). Each year for the past few years, we’ve at least attempted planting a garden. The first year was a complete failure–the weeds were too much for us to keep up with, or at least more effort than we wanted to expend. After that, we just did some tomatoes near the back of the house, and though we put too many plants into a really small area, we had more tomatoes than we knew what to do with. Last year, we had some success with tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, and watermelon in the garden, but several other plants didn’t make it. This year, I’m hoping we’re not too lazy to keep up with the weeds and pests and all the other hazards of keeping a garden.

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