Confusing directions

We like to grow dahlias in our garden, even though our winters are too cold for them to winter over. We don’t have a cold room in our house to store dug up dahlia tubers over the winter to replant in the spring, so we order new tubers every year from wonderful place in Washington State-Swan Island Dahlias. Their instructions for successful dahlia growing are sort of confusing.

We are to plant the dahlia tubers in rich, moist, soil, but are instructed to not water the tubers until the shoots emerge from the soil. They will rot if we do. It may be ok to water if it is dry or if they are in pots, but that is dicey. It is hard to know what we are to do. What is too dry, and what is too wet? I am happy to report that five out of seven dahlia tubers are emerging from the soil with some watering here and there, given our dry spring, but I still have anxiety about the watering issues. I still don’t know what I am to do!

What are some confusing directions you recall? When were you at a loss about what to do?

37 thoughts on “Confusing directions”

  1. Right now, ha ha, I’m at my new dogsit job till Sunday, 12 fierce wild dogs, and I can’t remember what they told me to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    This year I have been introduced to the app, SignUp Genius, which really is an ingenious little system. The Fountain HIlls Community Garden where I volunteer, churches recruiting participants in various things, and Master Gardener all use this system. It all worked fine until about 3 weeks ago, when I was mysteriously locked out of it. I followed all the instructions, changed the password, and swore at it. None of that worked. This was a problem because I must use it to sign up for my 50 volunteer hours to get to MG status. I have 30 hours to go.

    Finally it got solved after the guy in charge at the main office re-entered my email and sent me a link. At last, I could sign up again, I am headed out to work for an hour right now at a garden nearby by.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Morning –

    Yesterday I repaired the hydraulic couplers on one of the tractors. As they get used so much, parts wear out and they begin to leak.
    I’d seen several guys on YouTube just ‘pop out’ the insert and put a new one in. I looked up the parts I needed, ordered ONE, and got TWO at a different (higher) price. Hmm. Called my local John Deere place and they said I need to replace them in pairs.
    Turns out mine don’t have the inside piece that just “pops” out. It took a few more calls and more googling and it was a learning experience. Nothing in the pictures looked at all like what I was dealing with.
    Directions? They don’t come with directions…and I wouldn’t read them anyway.

    One of our recurring family jokes is that where ever we’re going will be “Just at the bottom of this hill”. A joke about not knowing exactly where we were (We were NOT lost!) so our destination would always be “just at the bottom of the hill” or maybe the next hill. We don’t need no stinking directions!

    I am still at a loss as to why the oats is such random heights in one field this year. I drive by it everyday and I just don’t understand what’s going on in there.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. John Taylor bought some extra ground across the road from his farm. He said, “back here, the ground goes down over the valley and up the other side. Nobody sees much what I’m doing. But over there, people from all around can see me.” Ben, just between you and me, he was right to be worried. His dad obviously never taught him the finer points of ploughing.


  4. The dahlia instructions also don’t mention what happens when it rains before the shoots emerge. Does rain cause tuber rot? Unclear.


  5. I did receive some instructions for installation of a flooring product in German. It was confusing. I went to the university language department. They helped. But I missed an important step in translation. My cork flooring swelled up. What now? Intuitively, what expands contracts. Dry ice application froze the floor where it belonged.
    Human Intuitive ability cannot be underestimated.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Your comment brings to mind my days as a part-time translator for Toro. I was translating assembly and operating instructions for snowblowers and lawnmowers. I can tell you that I’m a whole lot more understanding of some of the weird translations I’ve come across in such literature since then. I was not familiar with many of the parts, even in English, and no matter how many dictionaries I used or Danish friends I called, finding just the right name for every doohickey was tricky.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I actually did that once, came up with a new term for a snowblower. This was at a time when snowblowers were unknown in Denmark, and frankly, I can’t imagine that the market for them there is that great given the limited amount of snow they get, but that’s Toro’s problem, not mine.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Translation IS difficult. I don’t know how people ever learn different languages. In Spain, t-shirts with slogans in English are very popular. Those slogans are rarely anything any English person would say, and usually don’t make a lot of sense.
        On the other hand, many, many of our own sayings, cliches, etc, don’t make sense either. Can’t think of a single example right now (of course), but try explaining some of them. “Of course,” for instance. I see how it means what it means, but it’s a funny way of saying it.


  6. Talking about reading and following instructions.

    My neighbors have been complaining that my dog has been barking non-stop. I hate the electric zap collars, so I went on Amazon and purchased a humane citronella collar. When a dog barks, it shoots a blast of citronella under their nose and apparently, they don’t like it. This morning I was getting the collar ready and filled it with the citronella liquid. And that’s where my morning should have ended. But no, it’s me, and I begin to become curious as to “how” the collars actually work. So, I’m standing by my back door “barking” at my dog’s collar. Nothing happens. I make sure it’s turned on, check the fill level, and go through the “getting started” check list one more time. Again, I bark. Nothing happens. Now I’m not quite sure, why I had this next thought, but I did…I put the collar on. I seriously extended the band and fit the growl box against my throat and barked. Apparently, the collar only works if it feels vibrations, because I immediately received a blast of citronella to the face. I began coughing, which only caused the collar to continue squirting bug spray over and over into my nasal cavity. I’m now on my hands and knees in my back yard, trying to breathe, and to make matters worse, the damn dog is barking. So, between coughing and yelling at him to shut up, I’ve emptied over a dozen blasts of citronella to my face. During all of this ruckus, I’m trying to undo the clasp of the collar, which has somehow managed to weld shut during this whole fiasco. I finally get the collar off and threw, yes, I threw that inhumane thing across the yard, and lay in the grass sucking in the hot Minnesota air. In the middle of thinking this is probably the dumbest thing I’ve done in a while, I hear laughter. MY NEIGHBOR SAW THE WHOLE THING! He was laughing so hard he couldn’t breathe. Between gasps, he tells me, “I was gonna come help, but every time I started to climb over the fence, you’d set it off again and then I would start laughing and couldn’t make it.” So now, not only are my eyes red, but my face and ears are too. After checking to make sure I was ok, we parted ways and I went in to shower so I wouldn’t smell like ode de’ Tiki Torch. Lesson learned: next time (yes, there will always be a next time with me) make sure that: 1. Don’t fill the collar before trying to set it off. 2. Remember your neighbor is not a good source of help in a comedy crisis situation. On the plus side, I won’t have a mosquito problem for a few days! 3.

    I hate to break the news that it’s a copied story that gave me a good laugh to start my day, so feel free to do the same. The funny thing about this story is that I absolutely would not put it past the woman who posted it to have done it, but that’s another story.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Barbara, I’ve progressed from leaving comments on fortnight-old blogs, to actually keeping up with today’s. But I I still come back a day or two later and find posts that weren’t there before, and often can’t help adding something.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Back in my organizing days, a friend and I were in her basement trying to assemble one of those heavy duty plastic storage cabinets. Not sure which language they were in, but something Asian – we were laughing so hard by the end we couldn’t see straight. Wish I’d have saved them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep in mind, Fenton, that the common denominator for most of the baboons on this trail is The Late Great Morning Show (TLGMS – see glossary), a radio program on our our local Minnesota Public Radio. The program was essentially an extremely eclectic music show with some news and humorous sketches thrown in for good measure. The musical tastes in the this group run both deep and wide.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That doesn’t surprise me at all PJ, I knew about the show, and have taken note of various comments.
          I have to admit, my tastes are probably narrow. I got into the tail end of the “Mersey Sound,” and followed the pop scene until about 1966 , when it all got too “weird” for me. I just busied myself on the farm until I belatedly discovered R’n’R, and slowly, over years investigated where it came from. So now I say to anyone who asks, “I like the music from the Deep South.” I don’t always bother to explain what that means. But that’s how it was that Steve and I converged on Tuba Skinny, as I’ve probably said before, from different routes. I’m far from knowledgeable on early jazz, but I’ve looked on it for years, as a miracle.


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