Is it Gray, or is it just Winter?


We’ve been lucky with fairly mild weather so far.  But now it seems to be turning colder.  And wetter.  Cold and wet are like friends who egg each other on to be a bit more extreme.  One by itself is ok.  Both together — they go way further than they’d independently dare.  And with the sun not being as high in the sky . . . it’s as if the supervisor has turned their back so that Cold and Wet can be even bolder.  It makes for a bit of melancholy.  Or does it?  Some people enjoy the long evenings.  Time by the fire.  The  opportunity to do crafts, or read a good book.  Or watch movies and play games together.  It’s like permission to NOT farm. 


But the problem comes when farming HAS to be done.  Then it’s cold and wet and dark, and you still have to get out there and put wood in the fire and feed the cows (do they even feel the cold?  It doesn’t look like it.) and chickens.  Chickens definitely feel the cold.  They all snuggle on the porch by the front door – collecting the heat that slides through the crack that was supposed to be fixed three years ago.  I can tell they’re there, because a collection of “chicken dust” always blows through in a certain pattern when the heat from the house isn’t strong enough to push against the cold air from the outside.  And chickens don’t lay many eggs in the winter time.  I wouldn’t want to either. 


And when there are evening things to be done (as there invariably are – like school board, and the other school board, and Pathfinders), it just seems like it’s way too late to be going out in the wet and the cold and the dark. 


I wonder how people do it where it’s perpetually dark, like for months on end.  I can’t imagine it’s just dark.  I think that cousin Dark is the worst influence on Cold and Wet.  Send in the sunshine!!  I’m not cut out for this.


You can join me in seeing all sorts of skies here. You might even see some sunshine!



Blogging the Past


Here’s something that should have been blogged, but missed it’s time. . . and alas there are no photos.  It was a photo-worthy and bloggable thing for sure. 

We’ve been having some amazing weather.  The contrast between hot and cold on two different days is crazy.  And the wind!!  It’s been so cool to watch and hear.  We were home on a day off (President’s day or another day when the teachers had inservice) and the forecast predicted strong weather.  With the radio on, the "weather alert" was going nuts – every few minutes that disturbing, belching and mechanical "beep, beep, beep . . . we interrupt this broadcast with a special weather update . . . " with tornado warnings and watches and strong wind advisaries.  Living on a hill with a panoramic view is awesome at times like this – you can see the wind, but can’t feel it.  I love that!  And when it rains, it feels like you’re sitting right in the rain, but you don’t get wet.  It’s the coolest thing.  Anyway – we were home, and the winds were picking up speed.  We kept saying "the trampoline is going to fly" and we watched it – and it lifted and lowered, but didn’t move.  Until one huge blast of wind picked it up and threw it down the hill and across the drive way.  It was like the thing weighed less than a feather – it was so effortless.  The rain was coming down in torrents and so some of our visibiiity was obstructed.  When it cleared enough for us to see, the trampoline was upright against the neighbor’s fence.  Upon closer inspection (after the storm) we saw that part of it was over the fence.  There were trampoline parts all the way down the hill (mostly springs).

A couple of weeks after the storm, we had a house-full of guests.  Prince Farming suggested we use the man-power to bring the trampoline back up the hill (makes a person want to stop in for a cup of tea, doesn’t it?).  It wasn’t too difficult with all of us – and we had the kids do a sweep of the hill for missing parts.  Almost half the springs were "sprung" all over the place.  We dragged the trampoline up and put it back where it had started, but it wasn’t "jumpable" yet – two of the legs had been ripped right off.

Last week Prince Farming got home from work "early" (still daylight).  He went down and got the welder from the shed and I found all the extension cords I could in the garage.  We figured out which leg parts went where and did the necessary repair.  We had to bend some of the net-braces up and fenangle a few other parts to fit – but we finally got the trampline looking almost like it used to.  There is a significant bend on one edge which gives the trampoline an almost egg-like appearance, and the kids say it doesn’t have as much bounce – but at least it’s useable for getting rid of the extra energy and craziness that periodically occurs in smallish people.

Isn’t it great to have someone around who can fix things!?  In a former life, that trampoline would have sat there, on it’s end, till it naturally deteriorated.  Or it would have been dragged to some trampline graveyard heap.  Prince Farming can mostly fix anything!!

iPhone Flood – Skywatch


On Wednesday I went for a walk (for exercise and wellness) with some of my relatives – they walk a lot, and sometimes I join them.  It had rained really hard all night.  REALLY hard.  I mean, a LOT of rain came down.  Ad being in a mountain/valley area, the water patterns make for interesting living.  You’d think that after the rain the water would be mostly gone.  But that’s just when the water starts appearing with a vengeance.  All the run-off fills every conceivable dip in the ground – the path of least resistance.  I took some iPhone shots again to share.  This is becoming a habit, maybe.  As long as the pictures turn out okay, I’m fine with it.  Don’t ask me to zoom in or anything though.  It’s less functional than the original PHD camera (Push Here Dummy).


Here’s a picture of the corn field.  Obviously the corn is long gone – but here it looks more like a rice paddy might look.


Here’s another one -

That flow of water at the top of the picture is normally there – but it’s not looking so normal in this shot.  "Normally" you can’t see water from this perspective.  The stream is WAY high.  With much more rain it will be covering one of the bridges to get onto our road.


This is the road to my parent’s-in-law’s house.  The stream flowed over the lane for a long time – but a year ago they put a culvert in.  But this rain is stretching the culvert’s capacity just a bit.  Here they were finding their way over the stream without getting wet.  Sorry it’s so blurry . . . the iPhone is only as good as its operator.


When I was leaving from the walk I saw these images that I thought you’d enjoy:

This barn was originally on my parent’s-in-law property – before they moved or built.  That means it’s more than 40 years old – and Prince Farming says it looked old then too – so maybe it’s close to 100 years old.  How can you tell?  Anyway – it looked quaint with the misty fog.  Just down from the barn is the entrance to their place – this is with me exiting their farm:

Obviously they’ve been farming for way longer than we have.  Their fences are all solid.  And, well – THERE.  They HAVE fences.  The exterior fences around our place are still waiting to be put up – and they probably will not look like this at all.  Hmmmm. 

Coming to our farm, here’s what our vegetable patch looked like:

Yep – the space to the left of the barbed wire fence across to where the grass begins is where Prince Farming planted tomatoes and potatoes. (The summer before last)   It’s a bit overgrown and neglected – and maybe that’s a good thing, considering what happens when the rain comes down!

And here’s the same field you saw in my haying pictures:

This picture is looking up towards the pond -it’s right near the top left of this shot.  Looing down from my kitchen window right now there are multiple pond-looking spots.  All equally muddy.  The rain just keeps coming.  And tonight is supposed to be Prince Farming’s office Christmas party.  And I’m supposed to wear something other than cover-alls and a hat.  Ugh.  Can’t we just stay near a fire with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate?  I guess today this farm chik isn’t all the reluctant, huh?


You can find more views of sky and places from around the world here at Skywatch Friday.

Shades of Gray


We’ve been anticipating rain, I guess as a result of all the Ike activity, but it only happened once this past week (rain, that is).  The sky has been changing colors, and I don’t know whether it’s because of that storm activity, or the pending change in seasons.  The air is cooler, and I can feel fall coming.  I LOVE the fall.  Especially in these hills.   These pictures are inspired by the color changes that I’m anticipating.



There’s a reason they call this area "Smoky Mountains."  The mist just hangs.


My post (and your week) would be incomplete without a pond shot, so here you go:


You can see another really cool misty shot from this week here.


Play along with sky watch, or stop by and see all sorts of skies from all around the world here.


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