Before the Storm


What a weekend – Pt 2

Once I discovered water in the basement, there was no time for photos.  There are no images to go with this post.  Okay, I’ll relent.  Here’s how I felt.



Brad K broke his ankle in this one.  He went on to win the championship.  Perhaps a good omen for me?

I spent Saturday rescuing items from the water.  I pulled smaller chunks of carpet outdoors and draped them over bushes.  When I only had some larger carpet chunks to go, I realized I couldn’t handle it.  They were water logged and were far too heavy.

That night Sylvia suggested using the shop vac to pick up excess water.  That was the key, but not for Saturday.  I was sore, tired and my back was hurting very bad. :frustrate:

At church on Sunday a couple of friends offered to help me.  I gratefully accepted.

As I was about to sit down to a bowl of Raisin Bran for lunch, by son, Bryant, called.  He said, “I heard you might need some help.”  His mother had called and he would arrive about the same time as Larry and Ron from church.

Larry brought his shop vac and with two vacs and four of us working we had cleared things out in a couple of hours.  While I mounted the front-end loader on the tractor, the guys carried out the carpet.  I carried them on the loader to the front deck, where they draped the carpets over the rails.

Larry went to the church and came back a short while later with some floor fans.  We set them up and the basement began to dry.

Bryant stayed on for a couple more hours and helped me clean up some other storm damage.  He also pruned a low hanging tree in front of the garage door.

Monday, rain threatened and I had to close basement windows and retrieve some items drying in the sun.  Finished just before the rain began.  The forecast said less than 0.1 inches.  That was WRONG.  The rain gauge had 1.4 inches of rain.

Monday about five PM, I saw Larry’s truck coming up the driveway.  I met him at the garage door.  He and his wife, Carmen, had taken dinner to a neighbor and her family.  The neighbor just had knee replacement surgery.  Carmen prepare another generous portion, which they delivered to my door.  Yes, a beautiful boiled dinner with cabbage, potato, onion, carrot and a large chunk of ham from one of their hogs.  Wow!

So hats off to Ron, Bryant, Larry and Carmen.  Nothing makes a man wealthier than having friends and family like that.

What a weekend – Pt 1

Friday marked the beginning of a new month.  Sylvia spent most of the morning packing and loading the car, and by lunch-time she was at her father’s house.  That afternoon they drove to Glen Lake, which is near the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and sand dunes.  Sylvia’s great grandfather built a cottage there many years ago.  It’s a great place for a vacation, and that’s what they’re doing.

About six PM, I heard the sound of rain on the roof.  This time it was louder than normal and a single look told the story.  Hail the size of very large peas accounted for the din.

Hail.  Lots of hail was quickly washed away by rain water

Hail. Lots of hail was quickly washed away by rain water

What do you think of that?  The warm earth and heavy rain washed the hail quickly away.

Down the driveway went the hail

Down the driveway went the hail

Lots and lots of rain fell.  Nellie was frightened and hid under a chair.

The normally small drainage area grew greatly during the storm

The normally small drainage area grew greatly during the storm

Bliss Drain became a lake.  Look at that rain gauge.  Yes, that’s 4.5 inches in about an hour.  Hail fell for over a half hour.

When Nellie came to hide under a chair, she was running and acted upset.  Later, I went to investigate.  About an inch of water in a basement that is always dry.  It’s nice to live on a hill.  But despite that a lot of stuff got wet.

It was going to be a busy weekend for me.  More next time.


Beside Granny’s Garden pt. 2

I’ve been watching that wasp nest and hoping that this would happen:

Yum yum!

Yum yum!

We use to see this happen when we lived in Connecticut.  I believe it is a bird that pulled the raid.  However, I did not witness it happen.

Does anyone have an idea on how this happened?  Please?

Finished — for Now

We’ve finally finished transforming the mudroom.  We no longer have a mudroom.  It is now the Entry Way.  The floor is solid and level.  The cracks are gone.  The worn-out linoleum is gone.  There is baseboard all around the room.  Yes, it has been pronounced as “good” by the one who matters.

The scene looking left as you approach the entry way.

The scene looking left as you approach the entry way

It was a lot of work, but together Sylvia and I [a little bit] got it done.

From the house side looking toward the garage

From the house side looking toward the garage

The stand has been around for years.  My parents had it, and I think they got it from Mom’s folks.  We loaned it to our son for his daughter, Briana, to use.  Barbara (her mother) painted it a pretty purple for Briana to use.  Now it’s yellow–than can happen when you have left over paint.  Right, Sylvia?  Here’s a detail from the top shelf that’s not clearly visible in the wide shot.



I prefer to think of it as a “personalization.”  That’s so much nicer than “mutilation.”  I was probably about eleven years old and had a folding knife in my pocket.  It started with the little notch on the left and proceed on with the larger carving on the right.  What followed was “instruction,”  which must have been efficacious as the infraction was not repeated.  The result is that the stand has precious memories for me.  (Time in its tender mercy has washed any memory of “correction.”)

The plumber has arrived and I need to wrap this up.

Call Me Lazy

My neighbor, Bob, agreed to mow part of my lawn.  And best of all . . . he doesn’t charge me single penny to do it.

Mowing the tall grass on the low ground

Mowing the tall grass on the low ground

Bob’s mower also crushes the grass. That results in faster drying so that it is more quickly ready to be baled for hay.  The next day he came over with a hay rake, which put the hay into windrows for baling.

The day after that, he came back with the baler.  In the course of the afternoon he had made 10 large, round bales of hay.  Next morning he loaded the bales on a trailer and hauled them home for his [beef] cattle to eat.

And now instead of tall grass on the low ground, we have what appears to be lawn.  That’s what I’d call a win-win situation.

Looks different after bob completes his handiwork

Looks different after bob completes his handiwork

Look at how our garden is doing this year.  Green beans, zucchinis, onions, early and late cabbages, various tomatoes, potatoes, habaneros, jalapeños and sweet bell peppers, cucumbers and giant garlic are all flourishing.  Much of this is hidden behind that forest of asparagus, which we harvested lightly this year.  Along the far side, the rhubarb continues to thrive.  We’ve harvest heavily from it this year and still there is much, much more.

And to think . . . I used to waste that space growing grass.  How dumb was that? :dunce:


I’m guessing most of you have discovered the least, and most poorly kept, secret in the world.  Our world is mad.  As in crazy, loony, loopy, illogical and frequently nonsensical.  Mad! :stars:

Not really my doctor.

Not really my doctor.

Monday, I had the 9-month follow-up appointment with my urologist.  It is nearly an hour’s drive by the time you add in parking and walking in and up to his office.  After checking in and leaving a sample, I was ushered into a room to wait.  I finished reading a book during that time.

Finally, Doctor R stepped in, shook my hand and greeted me with a big grin.  He had a couple of questions for me and I had one for him.  He shared the good news that my test results were once again perfect.   :cloud9:   He also reminded me that there is a chance that the cancer will come back.  I’ll see him again in three months, which will be the one year anniversary of the surgery.  Our time together was less than five minutes.  An hour later I was back home.

I find it interesting that Doctor R lives about two miles from here (all of it on country roads).  But unless I get on the expressways and drive that hour through urban traffic into the big city, he doesn’t get paid and I don’t get treated.


Sorry I haven’t kept up with posting here.  I’ve been doing some work on the house.  We’re nearly finished with the mud room project.  Just a couple of pieces of trim to go, and Sylvia is picking them up at Menard’s as I write this.

Also been overhauling our church’s Website.  My Web development software is now out-of-date, and I want to pass this on to someone else.  Our hosting company offers site-builder software as part of our Web hosting package.  That’s great I don’t even have to have the software installed on my computer.  Still, it’s a lot of work to get things fine tuned.

His Worst Day — Ever!

It was his worst day ever.  Or was it?

My friend, Roy, sent me this e-mail funny.  You may or may not like it, but I thought it was comical.


There I sat . . . waiting

There I sat . . . waiting

There I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to me, grabs my drink and gulps it down in one swig.

“Well, what are you gonna do about it?” he says, menacingly, as I burst into tears.

 “Come on, man,” the biker says, “I didn’t think you’d cry. I can’t stand to see a grown man crying.”

 “This is the worst day of my life,” I say. “I’m a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me.

 When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don’t have any insurance.

 I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my wife with another man… and then my dog bit me.

 “So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. I buy a drink, I drop in the capsule that will end it all. Then, I sit here watching the poison dissolve; and you show up and drink the whole doggone thing!

 “But hey, enough about me. How are you doing?”


Fearless Mother

Yesterday, I mowed the lawn.  There’s nothing special about that.  It happens regularly.  Something special happened this time, and that’s what this post is about.

We have a crab apple tree that has never thrived.  We’ve planned to remove that tree, but the last few years a dove has made her nest in the tree.  Neither Sylvia nor I have the heart to evict the dove while she is on her nest.  For that reason, the tree still stands.

When I mow around this tree, the tractor catches on a branch.  Yesterday as I mowed, I was easing past the tree, the tractor was rubbing, the tree was shaking and I looked at the nest.  I wanted to see an empty nest.  What I saw was this:

Momma dove sits bravely on her nest.

Momma dove sits bravely on her nest.

Yes, there within arm’s reach sat the fearless mother.  She refused to move, and my tree-removal plans are still on hold.