Stopping to smell the winter roses

We had our second winter storm this weekend. I know The Weather Channel is naming this storm ‘Electra’ as part of their marketing and awareness campaigns, but I’ll just refer to it as the latest storm, we would be ready. Eventually.

Last night, we drove out to a nearby farm selling Christmas trees. This is our third ‘real’ tree. It’s not bad compared to an artificial version, but my goodness, pine needles everywhere. We picked up the tree, picked up our Christmas holiday cards for labelling and mailing, ran a work-related errand for my wife, dinner at Panera Bread, then some grocery shopping for cookie baking supplies, as well as other necessary staples. Yes, once again supermarket shopping on a Friday night. Living the dream!

Here’s the problem. When we set up the tree stand, I discovered that one of the square nuts was missing, which would prevent us from properly securing our tree from falling over. As the cats were already excited about having an indoor tree to climb and eat, we didn’t care to find it toppled over in the morning. We locked them up in the basement with food, water, and litter overnight. In the morning, I would go to Home Depot to find a replacement nut.

Saturday morning, I went to Home Depot to get the square nut, have my workout at the gym, and pick up / drop off clothes to the cleaners. Armed only with a sample square nut, I tried desperately to find a replacement, but i couldn’t find it. It was basically a 3/8″ square nut with a course thread. First thing I learned was that you can either have a course (thick threading) or fine (thin threading) for a nut and bolt combination. Who knew?

Anyway, I couldn’t get the sample square nut to thread easily on the sample bolts on display. I took my best guess and went home took to find out it wasn’t a match. Fed up, I did what I should have done originally and went back with both the bolt and nut. Finally found a 3/8″ hex nut with a course thread, and that eventually worked. Eureka!

The rest of the day was spent quietly in peace indoors at the Ipe House. My wife Namita and kids baked cookies, and I cleaned up and watched old episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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