Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mother Nature 2, Homeowner 0

As you can see, there was quite a stretch there within the month that was vacant. The storm that happened took out my Internet, imploded our well, zapped the phone, fried the modem to one computer, fried the network card to the other, fried the scanner, fried the fax and sautéed the printer. It also left us without power at one end of the house due to taking out a GFI plug. Of course, none of this was known until power was restored. That was fun, 12 hours of no electricity, no air and no water. When the power was restored though, I am sure my sigh of relief was heard ‘round the world because it was so hot, but my sigh of “OH NO!” was heard around and AROUND the world. The well was struck and it imploded, cracking the well pipe all the way down the shaft. There was no water to the house and not about to be for weeks and weeks. It’s the 5th and there is still no water to the house.

Mother Nature 1, homeowner 0

7/15/2007 (this was the day this post was actually written)

When they say you can’t fool Mother Nature, believe her!

Nature by Mom hit hard a week ago Saturday. The summer storms have begun and apparently where we are located, we became target practice. Most likely this was just to remind us that we take a lot for granted. And we do!

I’m not a camper! I don’t camp unless my tent has electricity and air conditioning. I appreciate nature more than anyone but to live in it without my modern conveniences is not something I enjoy doing. We had a test of what it may have been like 200 years ago 3 hurricane seasons ago where we were without power for 18 days. Living off a vintage generator and only ran for 6 hours before quitting made us appreciate just how much running water, HOT water and air conditioning really meant to us, or to me, I should say.

We had a storm, a realllllly baaaad storm. I did my precautions of turning off the AC and the computer and waited for the storm to pass. There was a lot of thunder off in the distance and it was getting closer. Lightening I am afraid of and especially when it gets too close to the house and trees. We have a lot of fires start from lightening and going through another one is not something I wanted to do. The storm got closer and the power flickered and the rain came down like I’d not seen before. The rain was actually coming down in sheets where you couldn’t see through it at all. Buddy took refuge under the ramp but the water was coming down so hard he only put his head under cover. Sometimes I wonder how big a sheep’s brain is? The dogs acted like they do in storms like this, sticking like glue to me but “ok” for the most part. Except for 2, they were fine. The two that were scared are VERY scared and I have to hold them and put a blanket over them. I guess if they don’t see it, it’s not there. One shakes so hard it’s pathetic. I comfort them as best I could but nothing would comfort them when the “big one” hit. The power began to surge in and out and then all of a sudden there was a flash of white light that lasted a fraction of a second, the sound of thunder so reverberating it shook the house and then the sound of all the smoke detectors going off. I jumped so hard I came off the chair with two dogs still glued to my lap. I knew we’d been hit, I just didn’t know where. The rain was still coming down so fast that at least if it triggered a fire the rain would put it out, but, if it hit the roof and made a hole, where and how would I handle this?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The tomato is always redder on the other side of the fence

Every morning when I’d go out to feed the birds, the squirrels and my sheep I’d stop at my garden and admire how magnificent the vegetables, particularly my tomatoes were doing. The plants were growing like crazy and I was so excited to see the fruit get larger and larger, monitoring the size every day and imagining the ½ inch slices sitting on top of bread toasted ever so lightly with nothing but a slather of mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Yum mee.

I was not the only one who had these thoughts obviously. Today when I went out to feed the birds, the squirrels and my sheep, I walked to my garden to do my usual chest out, how proud and wonderful everything looked stance when my eyes just zoomed right into an empty hole! A HOLE, a huge hole. A hole that in my eyes looked like the size of the Grand Canyon! It was the place my once gorgeous, green, huge, loaded stalks of perfect tomato producing plant once stood. There was nothing, not even a remnant of the once bulging bush of future tomato sandwiches. Did something swoop down from the sky and pluck it right out of the earth? Did a hungry Chinaman reach up and suck it to the other side of the globe? What happened, where was my tomato plant?? I couldn’t take my eyes off the hole! When I did, to my aghast, there was another hole! Another grand tomato bush gone, swiped from its happy home to only be gone like the other one by its side. Who could do such a dastardly thing, what could do such a dastardly thing. And then I knew.

Who comes wandering over to my garden but my sheep, Buddy. And what does Buddy do? He climbs up the fence with his two front legs poking his hooves in the wire and pushes with his entire body weight the fence that is his paddock, only to watch it lean forward and allow him to stretch his neck out far enough to reach my precious plants. Grrrrrrr. I don’t mind sharing, I don’t mind buying him special apple cookies, nothing but the best alfalfa and sweet feed mixed with non-sweet feed, but, when he begins to steal my future tomato sandwiches, he has crossed the line, or, should I say the “fence.” I looked in his paddock, and sure enough, there were the remains of two once tall, full, lush, overloaded gorgeous tomato plants with nothing but 6 inch stalks on a bald root ball. There were two, but they were unidentifiable as to which was which. I couldn’t tell which was my beautiful beefstake or which was the big boy. At the stage of destruction there was no identifying marks or fruit to tell me how to address the now defunct plant. Forensic tests I needed. Where is CSI when you need them? I just hope Buddy appreciated my generosity to let HIM have the first ripened fruit instead of myself. How he could eat it without mayonnaise, salt and pepper on perfectly toasted white bread though is beyond me, but, then again, he too was probably watching it daily for that ripened perfection and couldn’t wait any longer and decided to make his move before I did on the fruit. Bad Buddy, baaaaaaaaaaaaad Buddy. Note to self. Sheep do not share.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Visitors abound

It was an early morning for the visitors who come by daily. During the night the racoon found that if you get on the grill and knock over a used Folgers can, tasty morsals spill out. Well, as long as that dang top pops off when it's knocked to the ground they do! I am now having to refill the fish food can on a "too often" basis so will have to search for something flat that will hold food so it can be stashed inside the gas grill. I will be very impressed if said racoon can figure out how to lift up the hood, but, resourceful is his middle name and he may just do that!

The sandhill cranes came by this morning after being on "vacation" this past week. Where they were I don't know, except that I could practially set a clock to their 7:15 arrival time for their morning indulgence of mix seed and sunflower bits. To watch them saunter across the road and up the long drive to the property to the two feeding areas is so enjoyable. One day they flew in. It was great. All of a sudden they announced they were arriving and the next thing I see are two huge birds with wing spans of 6 feet landing like two small helicopters lighting down to just the right spot. Saunter they did over to their seed. I must make sure I have it out before they arrive or else, as I have found, if I am late and go out, they just walk away, down the drive and across the road. They don't stop to wait for me to put it out. They figure, I was late, so adios until the next day. I must be on time. I must be on time. I must be on time.

The squirrel visited, without his two companions. This one squirrel has allowed me to get very close as I have found out when putting the morning seed out. Not too close though, just close enough and on his/her terms. I don't pretend to try and tame them, that's not safe at the creek. Too tame a wild thing and they turn into stew. I don't want my new found "friends" to be stew. I just enjoy them for their natural antics and visits.

The doves are growing in number daily. What started off as one has turned to 20. Not because they're breeding but because the word is out. FREE SEED AND SUNFLOWER BITS! DAILY! That's ok, I love the dove and welcome them. Now, they ARE aloof! They don't give you a break for anything. On sighting of a human and the ground errupts into wings of flight.

Morning is fun because of all the visitors.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

At the creek

The creek is peaceful, natural, pure and real.

Life in the creek is a totally different lifestyle and would eliminate most people from trying it. They think they would, but, they'd be moving right back to the city as fast as they could. Most people wouldn't find it sophisticated enough, close enough to shopping or "with it" by modern standards. You pretty much have to know how to sustain yourself, entertain yourself and appreciate the peace and quiet that nature affords you and live among those who govern their own terrain. It is a lifestyle change, but, once accepted in the creek, you are safe. Come in and try to change the creek and you'll find out it won't work. The creek is peaceful, natural, pure and real. Peaceful if you love the sound of nature around you, natural if you like nature in it's raw state, pure if you like a simple lifestyle and real if you can appreciate that it takes little to make a person happy.