Two quarts to the gallon.

Today’s post, the first of the new year, is a springtime story in January to honor my resolution: find more laughs to write about. Causing tears isn’t part of my plan.


Last spring we decided to tackle the wooly adelgid infestation that threatened our lush hemlock hedge. A few years ago it wouldn’t have been a problem for us to do ourselves. Either one of us would’ve been nimble enough to crawl under the hedge to administer the lethal dose of chemicals around the trees’ trunks. And Peter would’ve been able, without paper and pencil, to figure out how many ounces of the stuff to add to each gallon of water.

But heck, when we went to buy it, we couldn’t even get out of Lowe’s without an argument. It’s expensive, that potion, somewhere in the eighty bucks a gallon neighborhood. I, with my laughable math skills, noticed that buying by the quart was actually cheaper. “Look, it’s only twenty-seven dollars a quart. It would be better to buy two quarts than one gallon.”

“Four quarts to a gallon,” my engineer husband said.

“No-o, two,” I insisted.


We glared at each other right there in the front aisle at Lowe’s.

A young assistant came along and asked if he could help. I said yes and explained our math issues.

“Well, with four quarts to the gallon,” the whippersnapper said, “you’re better off buying by the gallon.” He helped calculate how many gallons we needed given the height, length, and depth of the hedge, then said, “Can I help you carry this to the cashier?” Humpf, we weren’t that feeble…yet!

Peter carried the two gallon jugs and I slunk along behind him apologizing. He rolled his eyes, as if to say, Leave the arithmetic to me, Luv.

Later I repeated the story to Leslie and explained that not only had I been totally convinced I was right, I also thought it was evidence that Peter’s mind was deteriorating further, faster

She laughed. “Never ever doubt him when it comes to math, Mom,” she said. “His mind will never be that far gone.”


One, two, three daffodils.

Photos: Spring flowers in spite of ourselves!

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 

9 thoughts on “Two quarts to the gallon.

  1. We have the same problem … only I’m the one who knows the measurements. But Paul always defers to me. I don’t think they taught that in Gallipolis.

  2. You mean to say 2 qts. really don’t make a gal.?! Good thing I married a science/math teacher; I can’t do math.. but he can’t spell:-)
    More smiles and nodding the head as I read and enjoy your blogs! cj

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