August 28, 2011
All that's Left is the Waiting
Last night we started getting rain from one of hurricane Irene's extended arms. the rain literaly comes in bands, or waves. We get rain for 10-20 minutes, then it stops, then it startes, then it stop etc. Then more rain, then it stops. So far we have gotten about an inch of rain. We got over an inch of rain on Thursday, and have pretty good rain storms for the last couple of weeks. What has that got to do with the hurricane?
The clay around here soaks up water pretty well. However, it also doesn't let it go easiy. Good for the plants, but bad right now. If we had been dry the last couple of weeks, a couple of 1" storms would have wet the soil enough to prepare it to receive a lot of rain. However, the soil is moist to very moist at this point, so even 4-6" of rain may cause a lot of flooding . Additionally, trees may not break in the wind, but a lot may be shoved over as the roots no longer have good purchase in the soogy soil.
But, we'll see what comes of it. For now, here are pictures of some of the preparations - not that the normally crowded 16 x 16 deck is virtually empty.
And, here is a shot of the Limelight Hydrangea, Endless Summer hydrangea is right next to it (the blooms are faded - blue is the bloom color), just because it is pretty.
WS stayed away as long as possible, to make sure he didn't have to help with any of the hurricane prep. He even went so far as to stop at the hospital on the way home becuase he was covered in spots. This is a long story, and not really that interesting (since I won't be seeing life insurance money any time soon - LOL), so either get a fresh cup of coffee/tee, or just skip this entirely.
Two weeks ago WS's right leg started to swell in the calf area. It started on Thursday and was huge and reddened by Sunday. On Sunday I diagnosed the issue as either an infection (although I could find no wound/bite sites) or deep vein thrombosis (I had run across DVT a couple of years ago while researching something else). We were both taking that Monday off as we went to the Hippie Fest Sunday night, so he called the doctor first thing Monday morning. They told him that if possible, have someone else drive, so I took him in for his 10 o'clock appointment.
When he got out of the examination room, he said he had a 5 PM appointment at the hospital for an ultrasound to see if it was a blood clot. At the appointed time, I taxid him to the hospital, where they relieved both of us by not finding any indication of clotting. His doctor had already prescribed him an antibiotic, so he was all set.
Progress was slow as he went in for check ups. They finally gave him a second antibiotic, to be taken in conjunction with the first, which sped up the reduction in redness and swelling. The doctor had threatened to put him in the hospital for intravenous antibiotics, but with the hastened healing, that was not neccessary.
WS sent off to his prep class for the CWI and Friday noticed he was starting to red splotches and dots. He was also starting to itch. NOt good signs when one is allergic to penicillin and at least one of the antibiotics is a distant relative of that drug. But, being WS (and having paid exhoritant money just for the chance to take the test - for which there were no refunds), he just shrugged it off until after the test Saturday morning.
He called me shortly after noon and told me that he was spotted and itchy, but couldn't get ahold of the doctor. He had quit taking the antibiotic that he knew was a distand relative to Penicillen, but wasn't sure if he should do something els. I told him to call the pharmacy and see what they recommended, and if they recommended a stop at the hospital, then for he better freakin well stop at a hospital. He tried to bome back with "there aren't a whole lot of hospitals around her." I cut him off with there being a boat load of hospitals in NH, of which he would easily pass by 3.
He called back and said the pharmacist wasn't much help. He was on his way back and would stop at the shop before coming home. About 2 hours later, he called and informed me that he would be stopping at the hospital.
During the hurricane prep, I had left a couple of unwieldy things until WS got home. With word that he was stopping at the hospital, and not knowing if he would actually get home that night, I figured I would get the neighbor to help move those few things. The neighbor however, had left for a memorial, so I was out of luck. I did get 3 out of the 4 items moved, and the last I wasn't too worried about, so things were good.
Several hours later, WS got home with perscriptions for prednisone and anatax to take care of the allergic symptoms. He helped me move the last item, but other than that he didn't have to do anything but eat the dinner that I prepared. Anywhay, here are pictures about what he was whining about:
In the top pictures, note his right leg - it is very splotche, and that happens to be the ankle that was infected, strange how that happened, Also, note the armpit (I know, not exactly what one usually wants to look at), but it is hugely red. Hopefully the meds will do their job. Meanwhile, the doc at the hospital took him off all the antibiotics. I see another doctor visit in WS's near future (he had one scheduled for Wednesday, but I'm guessing they'll want to see him Monday).
I tell you, that guy will do anything to get out of a bit of work :)
August 27, 2011
The Birds Know
I spent much of the morning outside getting things under shelter. It was very quiet - very few bird calls where normally the woods are atwitter with blue jay, chickadee, nuthatch and chipping sparrow calls. I got the funiture and cathouse off the deck, no birds were scared from the feeders. For the last 45 minutes, I have been in the kitchen cleaning birdie's cage and watering plants. I can see the bird feedrs and I've only seen 1 female hummingbird and 2 goldfinches. It also occurs to me that I've neither seen nor heard any chipmunks or squirrels.
Guess they are busy battening down the hatches too.
August 26, 2011
Preparing for Irene
WS has been gone since Thursday morning; he went to work as usual, then went to Maine to spend a couple of nights. He had class starting this morning (hence, spending last night there) and has a test tomorrow morning to renew his CWI certification. He should be back late Saturday afternoon.
That leaves me to do all the prep work for the hurricane. For those that don't know, we are right at the top edge of the purple area. They are saying the Monadnock region will be one of the hardest hit in NH - that would be our region. Of course, all this is subject to change, but we have to prepare like it is a worst case scenario.
If we are lucky, it will only be as bad as Bob, back in 1991. Then there was 80 MPH sustained wind and massive rain. I can still easily recall the image of WS in his yellow rain slicker digging a ditch so that the water pouring down from the back hill was diverted from the house and down back behind the sheds (at that time, the sheds weren't there). Since then the neighbor across the street has cut down a lot of trees and we get a gail effect from the wind coming up the hill on just midly windy days.
Last night I stopped at the store and got a couple of gallons of water and some D cell batteries. I also stopped at a craft store for picture frames, and while there, picked up a small bottle of oil lamp fuel. We already have those items at home, but getting a little extra just makes sense. We have plenty of non-perishable food for us as well as plenty of pet food, so I didn't have to stock up on any of that. We have candles applenty, so won't be in the dark. I emailed WS to ask about the gas situation for the generator, and he said we should be set if we need it for the fridge and freezer. I'll make sure to gas up the jeep Saturday after my running around.
I have service scheduled for the Jeep tomorrow morning (not part of preparations - already scheduled). Then I have to do the dump run and the laundry as well as other regular Saturday chores. Additionally, I have to get the outdoor stuff stored away; furniture off deck and patio, all potted plants stored safely, stuff that is normally stored under the deck needs to be placed back under there (WS had removed it to place stone under there and hasn't gotten it put back yet). Also, have to pick all tomatoes, peppers and basil. Corn and pumpkins will just have to ride out the storm. I'm sure I've forgotten something, but hopefully will remember and put them on the list I have going to keep me on track.
I should be kept busy tonight and Saturday.
August 24, 2011
Quaking Good Time
We felt the Virginia earthquake at work. I was quietly sitting there, minding my own computer work, when my chair started rolling back and forth. At first I thought it was me but when it lasted for more than one back/forth motion, I asked if anyone else was feeling a moving sensation. Everyone (there were 5 others there at the time) said they felt it too. It lasted maybe 10-15 seconds, then quieted down. Other people throughout the company felt it, although the Production personel didn't - probably because they were on their feet moving anyway.
I emailed WS and he said he missed it because he was walking between the shop and the office. When he got to the office, one of the guys asked if he had felt "that".
I got online and figured I would find a small quake had been in our neighborhood. Instead I found there was a large quake in Virginia. At first I couldn't believe that we felt it way up here, but then the HR Manager's daughter called from Florida and said she had felt it.
I'm just glad we weren't closer to the epicenter.
August 21, 2011
Politics in the Animal World
Cats are Republicans and dogs are Democrats. Pretty amusing.
Hat tip to Alphecca.
Top 100 SciFi-Fantasy Reads
I forgot to go back and check out the results of the voting for the top 100 greatest scifi/fantasy reads. Cop Car was kind enough to remember and put up the list as part of a meme. So, I will play the game and bold the one's I have read.
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
I have probably read other's on the list, I just don't remember actually doing so (I am like Cop Car - I can re-read books every couple of years because I've forgotten that I've read them). Plus, I have a weird thing going on on my computer where I can't scroll the list, so some I may not have seen as I was trying to highlight them (clicking the down arrow actually gets me back to the top of the list!?!?!). Some of them I marked as read because I at least attempted the feat (M. Moorcock's series was painful and I didn't make it all the way thru).
I've read 28 out of the 100. Actually, that is misleading as there are several series in there. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is 10 books - of which I am currently reading the last of. The Thomas Covenant series has something like 5 or 6 etc.
Some of those I voted for didn't even make the top 100 (complete list here); CS Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy is one such. Just goes to show, we all have our own tastes in reading material.
Give Me a Reason
I was at Wallly-World the other day, buying stuff like dog treats, cat litter, several cans of human food and a few health/beauty items. As I checked out, the cashier asked if I wanted the dog treats bagged or not. Since the treats were in large bags themselves, I didn’t see any need to waste any more plastic, so I told her not to bag them. Obviously the cat litter wasn’t bagged, and the cold bottle of water I grabbed for the way home was handed to me separately.
As I was leaving, the door greeter, an elderly gentleman, said, “I need your receipt.” I asked “Why?” He again asserted, “I need your receipt.” Again I inquired, “Why?” He said, “I want to see it.” Again, my question was, “Why?” Then he said, “Never mind, have it your way” and waved me out the door. As I was going thru the door, he said loudly, “It’s people like you that make the prices rise.”
So, he was accusing me of stealing, but wouldn’t say it to my face. And, he didn’t have enough conviction to call a manager or the security.
If he had given me a reason to look at my receipt, I would have let him see it. If he had said that I had a lot of un-bagged items and he was supposed to check them – fine. If he had said he was supposed to check every 50th person and I was the lucky person – fine. If he had said he thought I hadn’t paid for everything – fine.
I don’t have any trouble showing my receipt at Sam’s because they look at everyone’s receipt. I don’t have any trouble showing a receipt if I have set off an alarm, as has happened a couple of times. But he wouldn’t articulate why he wanted to see my receipt and I wasn’t just going to let look to see if I’d gotten joy jelly or hemorrhoid medicine, or whatever embarrassing things, just because he said so – I wanted a reason.
I've ridden, on average, 3 times a week for the last couple of months. In the last two weeks, I have been caught in rain a couple of times. Friday I got caught in a deluge (with accompanying lightning and wind) just 10 miles from home. Fortunately I had checked the radar before leaving work and knew there was a band of thunderstorms that I would have to cross thru and donned my rain gear before starting my journey home. I was just glad that hail wasn't represented in the mix (that stuff can hurt - ask me how I know).
Yesterday afternoon was warm and sunny, so I decided to wash the sand, mud and water spots off the bike. Then I got stupid and started waxing. Why was this stupid? Because it can take longer to wax the bike than a good size vehicle. Even thought the Street Glide doesn't have nearly the amount of chrome as WS's Electra Glide, I still worked on the bike for several hours. Once you start, you just can't stop because it is very noticeable.
However, the bike cleaned up nicely - which is good as I would have hated to spend all that time and effort to end up with a yucky looking bike :)
This isn't really related (except in a distant way), but I got a hold of the picture that was taken at the Sean Powers Memorial Ride and thought I would post it. I am at the bottom of the zero and WS is the left side of the zero (607 was Sean's badge number). Looks like we could have done a better job of spacing the numbers out - but not bad for a bunch of amateurs.
August 14, 2011
Tomatoes and Peppers and Lavender, Oh My
It has been over 2 weeks since I last posted pictures. I know that because when I download them from the camera to adjust the size, the images go into folders named by year and month. I have nothing for August. And, how did it get to be the middle of August anyway?
I'm not going to remedy the picture thing in a big way, but I do have a couple from gardening:
I picked tomatoes Wednesday evening and got a colander full.
Yesterday afternoon I got out the food processor and processed all but a couple of the tomatoes down to a chunky sauce (with peppers, basil and oregano). This sauce is now in the freezer waiting for the rest of the tomatoes to ripen, so I can make salsa all at one time.
Then I decided I better harvest lavender and get it to drying in the dehydrator.
I do believe this is the first time since getting the humongous dehydrator, that I have not been able to fit everything into it. That's okay, I usually dry lavender by the natural method, so I know what is left will still be good for drying tomorrow (when the current batch is done). The house smells fabulous now too.
I have a bunch of basil and oregano that will be ready for drying after the lavender is done. I will probably use it in the salsa when I can it in a couple of weeks, but I needed to harvest the leaves before the bugs got them.
All this talk about canning food and herbs makes me sad - it means fall is just around the corner, which means riding season won't last too much longer.