Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Glory Be

Wow!  I just let Bess out and it took me a minute to realize that strange light in the sky was the moon.  I could actually see the moon and stars.  It's not raining!

Rain.  Rain and wind again yesterday.  There were periods of letup, but it was definitely a "big-room" day for the girls.  Inga has always pawed a trench by one stall wall.  I'd fill it in, she'd dig it out.  I finally gave up and worked around it.  It's maybe a foot deep.  Well, she won't be digging for awhile.  Ground water seeped in and she had a wading pool.  Thankfully, it drained during the day and now she has a mud wallow.

I don't know whether it is the wood or Stove, but I've been having a terrible time starting and then keeping a fire going.  Consequently, the house is freezing.  If we do get a dry day, I'll ask Helper Dude to clean the chimney again.  It's possible that smoke from wet firewood created a creosote buildup.

Nothing for it but to get the trash down to the big road, so Bess and I went slipping and sliding down, trying to keep Truck from going into the ditches.  I really thought a couple of times I'd have to throw it in 4WD on the way back.  Beau was on his way to pick up his kids at the bus stop, and we stopped to talk for a minute.  I asked about his carpentry skills (what guy is going to refuse a challenge like that?).  He came by later to look at the disintegrating door to the chicken coop, and said he'd have a new one built by next week.  Glory be.

If Weather Guy can be believed, the next big rain won't come until Sunday.  Sunday, the day Pete is moving to NorCal.  It's a long drive up anytime, but seemingly goes on forever in the rain.  He's really excited about his house and has great plans for each room.  Having always lived in apartments, it will be like a palace to him.  It will be grand to have him close again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

On And On

I'm not knocking it (and I hope I don't jinx it), but I'm amazed we haven't lost power.  Holy cow, the winds have been fierce.  It rained steadily all day yesterday and through the night.  There are two kinds of rainy days:  if the rain is light and sporadic, I open the gate to the play yard for the girls; if it's a downpour or steady, they get to go into the big room, as well.  Yesterday was definitely a big-room day.  It puts a crimp in my schedule because I can't get past them to clean the back stalls.  They want to come too and then it's chaos in the narrow hallway.  They're like beads of mercury or a pinball machine, scattering here and there and almost impossible to gather up again.

I make full use of the DVR feature, recording several or more episodes of favorite shows to watch back to back.  I like it when the guide says "Part I of..." because I'll wait until the mini-series is complete and then it's like going to the movies.  There are exceptions, of course, and "Mercy Street" is one of those.  It's a fact-based drama about the Civil War era and I watch it right away.  I'm waiting for Part II of "Midsomer Murders," another favorite.  "Victoria" is an another excellent PBS series (do they make any other kind?) and I had three episodes stacked up.  It's as good a way as any to while away a rainy day.

Happy birthday to my plus-one Kid Clay!  He's coming up next Saturday and has requested liver and onions for dinner.  Now that's a Kid after my own heart.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Old Hat

Approaching storm prep is getting to be old hat now, we've had so many lately.  Something added was to turn on the ice maker; it's a rather enthusiastic appliance so I often turn it off.  The last storm was so recent, I'd not generated enough laundry to do again, but did run the dishwasher just in case.  The ash can was emptied and more wood to the porch.  The teapot was filled in case I need to use Kathy V.'s packet of instant coffee.  Got all my bills paid while I still had use of the computer.  We're about as ready as we can be, I hope.

I texted Larry that we're in for another big one.  That rotten Kid responded that it was 78 degrees with a light breeze in Honolulu.  Phffft.  Told him that when I get the ark built, all the animals and I will sail over and visit him.  Serves him right!

I think the weather has Celeste a little distressed.  I find her security piglets all over the house, and she's even brought one to bed with her for comfort at night.  Ralph has been needier than usual, too, claiming space on my lap more frequently.  That's okay, they are energy-efficient space heaters.

They weren't kidding about the severity of the wind, although they mentioned "gusting."  When it hit last night, it was unrelentingly sustained and it was a doozy.  I hate going to sleep at night thinking, "Save the house and the trees."  It has lessened somewhat this morning, and the rain is just ordinary, everyday rain.

Just another day in Paradise.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lucky Me

Really caught a break yesterday.  I try hard never to run out of staples so that I can make trips to town on my own schedule; however, certain items were getting critically low.  I'd meant to go the day before, but being a wuss, I didn't want to go in a downpour.  There's a local FB page where there are many postings regarding road closures, sinkholes, potholes, and flooded bridges.  Believe me, I checked that site before heading out the door.  While it wasn't sunny, it wasn't raining either, and I hoped my luck would hold for the trip.

The two critical roads I had to travel were both open.  There's a bumper sticker supposedly making the rounds up here:  "I'm not drunk, I'm avoiding potholes."  It makes me laugh, because I've said that before to any flatlander riding with me.  On my way out, I noted a big one in the eastbound lane and committed it to memory for the trip home.  Some of these holes are big enough to pop a tire or bust an axle.  Even with eyes on the road, I saw puddles of gold on the sides where clumps of daffodils were in bloom.  The prediction is for flood-stage rain for the next four days, but it's nice to see signs that spring will be here soon.

My cold continues to hang on.  I hoped that after two weeks of wracking cough, I wasn't contagious.  I sure wouldn't wish this on anyone.  I made quick trips through two stores without coughing once, so I don't think I was the local Typhoid Mary.

Made it home just as it started to drizzle.  It's always fun to make trip after trip from the truck to the house in the rain, but I'm not complaining.  Lucky me, it was dry the entire trip!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Can't Dance

There's an old saying about winter weather on a farm, "Can't dance, and it's too wet to plow."  That's about where we are now, and weather is the topic of conversation everywhere.  Probably boring if you're not in it: well, it's boring if you are, but we're stuck with what we've got.

I'm going to name the almond tree Little Engine (children's book, "The Little Engine That Could").  It probably has the worst timing in the world, but, by golly, it's going to bloom regardless.  There are clumps of traveling daffodils putting out buds now, too.  None of the daffys are where I planted the bulbs.  I've not been able to figure out how and why they migrate, but it's kind of fun to see where they'll show up each year.

With little else to do yesterday, I watched "Gran Torino" (2008, Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang) and "Quigley Down Under" (1990, Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman), both movies having  to do with tolerance.  There are worse ways to spend a rainy day.

Friday, February 17, 2017

That Thing

Thing struck again and he really overstepped the boundaries this time.  I put up with so much from him:  the floor of the feed shed is littered with stored items flung from a wall of shelves, boxes torn open, bags ripped apart.  Long ago he chewed a hole in the scratch-barrel lid, and I even accepted that.  Yesterday I poured a new bag of feed into the barrel - and watched it spill out through a squirrel-size hole at the bottom.  This not a self-serve establishment, no matter what he thinks.  I hesitate to buy a metal trash can because the lids fit tightly and might create condensation inside, making the feed moldy.  Having found a way into this barrel, I'm afraid a new plastic can would be an exercise in futility.  That darned Thing.

Nature gave us a bit of a break.  After a rainy morning, after noon she relented and the clouds drifted over.  Bess and I went out to sit on the front porch to catch some rays.  It was warmer outside than in the house anyway.  Sure made for a pretty sunset.

If you don't count Thing, it was a good day.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Can't say Nature didn't give us fair warning this time around.  After a lackluster day, she started bringing in her troops with an impressive show of force.  Wind and rain struck during the night and continue this morning.  I could do without the wind, and I'm sure those downhill from Oroville Dam and along the levees are holding their breath again with more rain coming.

I wish I had something fun and exciting to write about.  No, seriously, I really wish that, but pre-storm prep days are deadly dull, I fear.  Laundry, dishwasher, wood to the porch.  Wow.

Another ten days or so and Pete will be making his move up from SoCal.  Fingers crossed for better weather then.  Moving is onerous at best, and would be just plain awful in the rain.