Hail Drops Keep Falling on My Head

What a day! I’ve experienced laughter, surprise and true joy today. Where to start?

Surprise

Let’s start with surprise, shall we? I got a voicemail from the local florist saying I had flowers and I’d better hurry over before they closed. I’d been in a long meeting, so we went over just in time to get the flowers, all the while wondering what the occasion was.

This is some fine floral arrangement.

Well what a surprise to find out that these beautiful spring flowers were sent to me by the four horses I’ve been caring for since my niece has been dealing with health issues. I guess they really appreciate the magnesium supplements?

Awwwww

I’m just glad they are okay! It what a sweet surprise. I was really touched. Now let’s talk about laughter.

Moo!

The dogs were going on and on this morning while I was trying to concentrate. There was also much mooing. It turns out that the young cattle next door wanted to play and were actually mooing to get the dogs’ attention.

The sky was beautiful.

Lee and I got a good chuckle watching the dogs and calves run and play with each other.

Speaking of laughing, I’m laughing because we actually managed to get most of the skunk smell out of the house! The stuff we used worked! Even Alfred is ok. Go Angry Orange stuff!

But what about the pure joy? It has to do with the hail drops in the title of this post. It was getting stormy tonight, so I enjoyed taking some cloud photos.

Rain on the horizon.

I ran out to put the chickens in and let the horses out after dinner as raindrops began to fall.

Storm front.

After dinner I took a few photos, because it was cool how it looked clear to the south and very stormy to the north.

The pretty side.

By the time I could get out to the hot tub to try to soothe my back, drops of rain were falling. Poor Lee really needed the hot tub after falling yesterday. We both made it in as the rain started falling harder.

There was lightning and constant thunder, sounding like machinery. Now, I know you should get out of the water when lightning is happening. But I thought what the heck. I’ve achieved all my life goals. Let’s enjoy the show.

Aftermath.

While I didn’t care about me, I didn’t want to damage my phone, so there are no photos of my joy. But wow, it was beautiful to sit in the hot water with cold rain falling and making beautiful patterns on the water.

Then, ooh, little sharp pains hit my face and ears. Hail was falling! There were tiny ice cubes all over the patio. It was so much fun to sit there and experience Nature in her fury.

Horses on their way to hide. I knew all was well when they came back out of their shelter!

Soon the storm passed. I was so full of joy. I was also lucky. Apparently the storm picked up strength and is bringing bad hail to the east of us. I’m glad giant ice rocks didn’t fall on my head!

Some Couple Time

Lee and I truly needed some time away. As much as we love the ranch, it’s easy to get in a rut. We’ve really been enjoying some down time to relax, while still doing our work. Ahh.

Gazing at the ocean.

We have enough time to relax now and for the future. A nice retirement plan and the knowledge that we can travel when we want to. Not bad. It’s been a dream of mine, and I hope to share it with the family!

I found some nature!

We have really enjoyed relaxing, watching birds, and letting the sea wash our feet. Sea bubbles are endlessly fascinating!

Shells and bubbles

I did finally find some more birds! I found a house finch and a crow, but didn’t get the crow’s photo. I did enjoy some laughing and herring gulls.

We’ve been having the kind of trip we like, relaxed and full of nature.

What? Nature?

Now, here’s something that’s pleasing me. I bought a new bathing suit, one of those “modest” ones. I got shorts, a tunic, and a long-sleeve top for sun protection. I did this because I really hate people staring at at me. And I just prefer for my curves and bumps to be for me.

My swim attire

I appreciate that so many people here don’t give a hoot and wear whatever they want to at the beach. I’ve seen people of so many shapes, sizes, colors, and styles on this trip. It’s great! But, for me, covering up feels comfortable. We each get to do what works for us!

Happy in the sun.

I never thought of myself as modest. I think I’m just not interested in being “sexy” or flirty. I want to protect my skin and still have fun in water. This works for me. Right now, though, we are inside watching storms. It’s so pretty.

Stormy weather.

Take care, everyone, especially those of you dealing with losses and illnesses.

Nature is so powerful.

Got Knitting All Ready for Upcoming Storms!

It’s always good to be prepared, isn’t it? And I was once a Girl Scout after all, with all the badges except ones about cooking and house keeping. That may explain why I’m so thrilled we will soon have someone to clean my house again.

I have two hours before it rains, according to this app.

Oddly enough, though, preparing for storms is one of my favorite activities. I love it when it’s all dark and gloomy out, because I feel cozy and sleepy, which is perfect for knitting and watching storms. I’ve been busily catching up on all my work, knowing that I’ll need to shut down if a big storm hits (see, I’m prepared!). And my current knitting project is beckoning me from right next to my desk. Ahh.

I enjoyed my lunch and am now taking my lunch-hour blogging break. As soon as I finish reviewing some work and doing one more meeting, I’ll shut down and enjoy that Severe Thunderstorm Watch that just popped up. I’ll be hoping it passes in time to take care of horses and Fiona!

The knitting is going slowly (mainly thanks to how sleepy my current mental state has made me), but it’s going well. I alternate between dishcloths and my beautiful Noro wrap.

You can see the beginning of the border.

The entrelac section is finally complete. It took exactly one skein of the yarn, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty for the second part, which is a lace-patterned border. That border is simple enough I don’t have to look at the instructions every row, too, so it is perfect for a lazy afternoon of rain-watching. I’m very happy that this yarn has such a long color repeat, because it will make a nice ombre effect on the border. The yarn the pattern actually called for has shorter and more abrupt color transitions, so I actually think this one will come out better!

I will have to block the piece once the border is done, which should square it up and flatten the little rectangles. Then there’s a crochet border that will really make the piece look finished, I hope, because the top edge that doesn’t have the lace border is pretty uneven looking to me. Gosh, I think I may actually finish this thing!

Back to the weather, we’re getting reports that lime-sized hail may come with the next storm, at least to my friends around Austin. I guess that’s good, since most of them are already planning to get new roofs after the previous storm, with “just” golf-ball sized hail. The spring storm season around here sure can be a doozy! Oh, and of course that is always followed by a couple of months of no rain at all. Love that Texas weather.

Indian blanket! Next come black-eyed Susans.

Hoping you are safe from whatever weather is afflicting your part of the world, and if it’s not being afflicted, that you enjoy a wonderful spring or autumn day! And don’t forget to let me know if you have anything you’d like to see me talk about here!

Dodged Another Weather Bullet

This year is starting out to be a strange one. We had the snow and ice, we’ve had hot weather already, and we’ve had some lovely days. One thing we haven’t had much of is rain. Thank goodness the snow melted slowly and helped saturate the ground. That spring is still flowing, after all!

The rain gauge

Lee keeps detailed records of our precipitation, made even more accurate by our fancy rain gauge I got from being a Master Naturalist. He reports that so far, this year is on the way to being the lowest rainfall since we started keeping records after the big drought in 2010. Every month has been below average. It’s like the opposite of the citizenry of Lake Woebegon, where all the children were above average.

Pretty dark for mid afternoon!

It’s been gray and dreary for a few days now, but we’ve only gotten a few hundredths of inches of rain each day. It’s been enough to get the ground wet, but not very deep.

That’s big hail! (photo from JCB in Leander)

Yesterday was our best chance at some rain, so I prepared by closing the big window on the chicken hatchery area. Lee shut the garage doors after we saw that our friends in Leander got really big hail. It was no exaggeration to say it was golf-ball sized. I foresee a lot of new roofs going up down there, and a lot of cars getting hail damage removed. It was a bad as the hail I watched in 2009, which ruined my Forester, while I watched it happen from the yarn shop. At least that hail was smaller, just larger in quantity.

A hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
We were fine. Gracie’s been through much worse, and Carlton just don’t care.

When the storm finally got to us, though, it was just very hard rain (of which the dogs are NOT fans), and a good amount, at last.

So far we have less than an inch, but we may get some more. I always know if we got measurable rain by the puddles on the driveway. If we get puddles, the rain amounted to something. Maybe that will help the tanks stay filled and the creeks flowing a little longer.

We got apples! Yum!

I was glad to see all the birds made it just fine, domesticated and wild. I’m so glad I have Star taking care of the chicks, because I keep reading about how much work it is to keep the temperature perfect for raising chicks without a mama hen.

Star’s protecting while the chicks are eating.

Good ole Star just raises up a bit to cool them off and hunkers down to keep them warm, between bouts of eating and drinking.

Can you see a chick peeping out?

It’s really fun to watch them growing and getting more inquisitive. I got to show them to Mandi yesterday, too. It’s pretty great to be able to see your friends again. Vaccinations are making my world better, that’s for sure.

A Bit of Storm Damage

While I was cleaning the fireplace, a strong storm came through and it rained .7 inches in 15 minutes. And the wind got up to 40 miles per hour.

I looked up when I felt some water. Shoot. It was dripping on me. We have to go way up by the chimney and check what’s caused it. Ugh. At least I was sitting right there when it happened!

Back at the ranch, Lee and Kathleen saw trees laying down and churning water. When we got home, we found the chicken’s windbreak broke. I’m sure it turned into a balloon, since the wind was coming from the south.

The blob is the tarp. Note clouds.

Plus, a piece of the roof over our shipping container blew off. That has been there 7 years!

Damage at top.

Lee and Chris repaired that and took the tarp off the chicken house. I headed over to the horse barn and found a big length of chicken wire that had blown in from somewhere. I rolled it up and stuck it somewhere safe in the barn.

Repair in progress.

More rain is coming, and half of the dogs are not happy. Harvey is all shaky. Carlton is hiding behind us. Happy Sunday.

How’s the Weather? Active!

Yowee! Did we ever get a variety of weather yesterday! After a muggy morning, clouds began to build up, but rain kept going all around us (which often happens, at least in our perception. I guess severe weather is just going to be the norm as “global heating” continues.

Scary sky and dog looking for a toad (see next blog post)

The wind got whippier and whippier, though, and by the time we were getting Father’s Day dinner ready, it became quite breezy on the porch, where we spent a lot of time watching clouds make interesting formations.

Fresh vegetables and organic meat loaf. Farm living.

After eating our harvested squash, fresh beans, most delicious little roasted potatoes, and yum yum, a great meat loaf by Sara, we realized the wind was really, really hard and it was much cooler.

Continue reading “How’s the Weather? Active!”

Donkey and Storm Update

I’ve been so busy writing about Fiona that I haven’t had a chance to talk about the horrible weather that’s been going on here (what else is new? the weather has been bad everywhere!). But I know the donkey fans out there will also want to know how the little darling is doing.

Feisty Fiona

Well, she hasn’t injured anyone since Wednesday! Hooray! Actually, when Mandi and I went to feed and medicate her yesterday, it went really well. She is always so glad to see me that it makes my heart swell. It’s great to be loved! And with me holding her head and Mandi squirting the medicine in her mouth, everything was over in a moment.

You aren’t gonna give me a shot, are you?

Fiona even took a treat right after the medicine (when I first was working with Apache, he would not take a treat from anyone until at least a day after you gave him his worming medicine, but now he trusts me not to worm him twice).

She is not walking 100%, but is not hopping or anything. Whew.

Wait, are treats involved?
Continue reading “Donkey and Storm Update”
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