Around the Island

Richard’s almanac: summer chores

Summer is a good time to catch up on chores around the house.

After cutting the hedges in the front of my house in May, I ached for a good two weeks. And it wasn’t from using my new DeWalt battery powered machine. It was climbing up and down the ladder and then moving the ladder a few feet until I finished one side. Then doing the other side.

I had these eight-foot privets installed a few years back and they’re finally beginning to get thick. Everyone tells me that they get thicker and denser the more they are clipped. And last week they were looking pretty ragged. I kept putting off the inevitable when my 13-year-old grandson asked if I had any work for him to do.

I thought about the hedges but figured it might be too dangerous for him to use the power clippers while standing high on the ladder. But he really wanted to work and earn money. He’s quit athletic and coordinated so I figured he’d be OK. He was set to come over at 10 a.m. and start the job. I was still a bit nervous about it.

During the night an idea came to me: Why not use the roof of my Jeep Wrangler as a rolling scaffold? It worked out beautifully without a scratch on the Jeep or a scratch on my grandson. And the hedges have never looked better. 


That’s what happens if one engages in a little bit of divergent thinking. 

On another subject I learned that two Island folk had to receive medical attention during last week’s heat because they drank too much water. 

Readers may remember that I reported the importance of remaining hydrated for seniors. When we feel thirsty, we may already be dehydrated. That’s why it’s so important to keep that water bottle handy. 

However, too much water can result in hyponatremia — a situation that occurs when the concentration of sodium in the blood is abnormally low.

According to the Mayo Clinic, sodium is an electrolyte and it helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around our cells. Too much water can cause the sodium in our bodies to become diluted. That’s not good. If the body’s water levels rise, our cells begin to swell.

If your hyponatremia is caused by drinking too much water, simply cut back on how much you drink. More serious cases will require medical intervention. Symptoms include nausea, headache, confusion, fatigue and weakness.

The guideline for water consumption is between six to eight glasses per day. And be careful not to overdo it.

Meanwhile, I hope that everyone takes advantage of the “Wine Tasting Fundraiser” to benefit the Senior Center being held tomorrow at the Osprey Bar and Lounge at 11 Stearns Point Road from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $50 per person. There will be wine, hors d’oeuvres and live music. Call 631-749-1059 to reserve a ticket. There are still a few left, I understand.