IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER THAN A RAINY DAY?

There is just something about a rainy day that I just love.  I can’t quite pin it down to one single thing.  Maybe it is because I hold so many great reasons:

  • Rainwater is best for all the plants.  Veg, flower, bush and tree all look and act so much better with rain water.  Even more so than our well-water.
  • A steady rain (like what is going on now) makes me feel major creative!  Writing, sewing, knitting, crocheting, even cooking (SHOCKER – for me anyway, I normally do not do the cooking here, and it is not one of my passions – love the eating part, but my Sis does the awesome cooking in our household).
  • Something calming for me in the sound of the rain falling, especially on a tin roof (our outbuildings all have tin roofs).
  • The sound of the wind whipping up, rain pouring down, throw in some lightning and thunder and I can fall right to sleep (hee hee- I know, it keeps most people up but not me – so weird).
  • Then there is the childhood part of it.  When I was young, we couldn’t wait for the rain to come.  It meant fresh fruits and veggies to pick and eat, mud puddles to stomp around in, and the added benefit of hot cocoa when we finally came into the house soaking wet and cold.  It meant something warm and comforting for me.  Snow does the same thing.

I am much older now; I also have osteoarthritis (in all my joints) which can mean some painful moments on these types of days.  I believe my contentment overrides the pain.  Maybe it is also seeing something accomplished.  I used to work in offices and factories.  At the end of the day, I always felt like I didn’t accomplish anything.  There was still a pile of work left to be done on the next day, and it all looked the same.  Now I can work on a project and actually see that it is complete.  The next day will bring a new project.  Sure, I have some projects that take more time than others, but the overall feeling is of accomplishment.

So, this morning is time to finish a sewing project for a friend’s horses:

8-25 sew proj

Then vacuum seal some meat:

8-25 vac sealer

Maybe work some more on knitting projects:

8-25 knit work

Then later I have to fry up some chicken and cook some rice to put on zucchini boats to be grilled this weekend (notice, the least fav thing to do is last – hee hee).

Then I usually end my days by sitting in my recliner and working on the yarn projects again.  I never have just one going at a time.  Right now I am working on 5.  A couple of these are birthday gifts; a couple are going to be sold in my Etsy shop, and the other is one that I am actually doing just for me – woo hoo!

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer and sunny (boo hoo), so I guess it’s time to do the “real work” – PROCESSING HARVEST  yum!

 

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INTERESTING LITTLE FACTOID

I love weather! I love watching in in real life, on TV, on my techno-gear or where ever.

• The movement of the clouds.
• Which direction the wind is coming from.
• Is there a storm blowing in the wind?
• Are we going to get hail?

These little questions and quirks are the things that keep me so interested in it. Some may say it is just because I am a farmer/gardener, or is it because a survived a tornado as a child, who knows, but I don’t think that is all there is to my interest.
As a kid (ok, did this earlier this summer with my grandson) I loved to lay back on the grass looking up at the clouds. We take turns trying to figure out what the cloud shapes were – turtle – dragon – butterfly – you name it.

clouds

Another part of my interest maybe that also, since I was a child, my mother always got the Farmers Almanac from our local feed store. Predictions for the coming year for weather, stars, when to plant and when not to. She would cling to that book all year long and base her decisions on it. (Please note, this is not a sales pitch, I am not getting paid by them to do this. I just happen to find it a great read, very interesting and wanted to share.)

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To this day, I still get it, and I buy the next years edition for our older sister as a Christmas present every year. I am also signed up for their monthly newsletter which is what brings me to this story. In this morning’s inbox, their latest delivery shares a secret – sort of. They wrote an article about how they determine next year’s weather – and it is not with the help of modern techno gadgets. It is base on a method that was developed in 1818 and has been used ever since – I FIND THIS AMAZING! All of our modern technology and they choose not to use it. So, if you are a fan of weather like I am, you may be interested in this article:

How Does The Almanac Predict The Weather?

Those of you that are farmers and/or gardeners should really love this! My older sister is not a farmer, and she can kill house plants – but she loves reading this book. It is not very big, but it’s always packed with useful (and some useless) information. There may even be those of you out there that have never heard of it or never read one? Please, go to the local library and check it out – you won’t regret it! I just believe that it is one of those bits of information in life that make it worth living. The fact that they are still around and still write in pretty much the same manner should also tell a person something.
Hope you take a moment from your busy daily grind to sit back and enjoy a bit of entertainment. Who knows, you may even learn something new?

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(This is our front yard pond with waterfall – total relaxation! Woo Hoo!!)

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…AND GOD SAID, “LET THERE BE LIGHT…oh I was just kidding!”

There are very few things in life that scare me. Severe, sneaky storms are one. I am thinking that when God said “Let there be light,” he was looking at one nasty monster! This is how it goes…
It’s a nice warm summer day. A gentle cooling breeze is blowing. The sky is a beautiful color blue with a dotting of clouds. The birds are flying and singing all over the place. A butterfly gently floats from flower to flower competing with the bees. Then it begins.
The clouds start to thicken. The breeze picks up to a bluster. The blue sky is now only viewed slightly on the far east side of the sky. The clouds start to turn from fluffy white to Halloween shades of gray. The insects disappear (how do they know?).
The wind has now grown into a mighty whip, snapping off small branches and peeling back any loose matter on or around buildings. They sky now almost black with the fierce clouds swirling in all directions. The birds are fighting hard to find shelter from what, they know, is coming.
Then, suddenly everything stops…you look, you listen, you do NOT breathe. In the distance, you can see it coming. There is now a sheet flowing from the black clouds to the ground and its heading right for you. You run to shut down any non-essential power spots. Chase all the critters you can round up into the barns. Cover as many plants as you can with what used old sheets you have in case this monster is carrying hail with it.
Deathly quiet! Ping, ping, ping…a few raindrops on the metal roof. Pinga da pinga da ping ping ping – bigger rain drops and more of them. Now the gathering beast is close enough you can hear it roar. It sounds like a cross between a train racing down the tracks and a scraper on a winter windshield, and you can see it coming right for you.
The challenge begins. Did I get it all turned off? Is everything as protected and covered as possible? Did I forget anything? Do I still have time to tie down one more thing? The answer to all of these is usually no because it’s too late to do anything if you want to.
Now all you can do is sit and watch and pray.
The monster is here!

monster storm

So far, no hail – you finally breathe a bit.  The winds pick up, and the empty bucket you left by the pump starts rolling across the driveway – dang, ya knew you forgot something!

Since it is just a heavy windy rain, you start watching the clouds.  Which way are they moving? Is there an end in sight yet?  Are they bunching up anywhere?  Are there any white streaks (sure sign of some dangerous heavy hail)?   Then everything stops!

No wind.  No rain.  No birds. No sounds at all.  Once again you are looking up (praying a bit harder now), “Please no twister, please no twister!”  You begin repeating this over and over again as you watch the clouds steadily sucking together into one spot in the sky.  Are they swirling in a circle?  You watch.  You wait.  You listen.  Then…suddenly…just as fast as it started up…a glistening ray of light breaks through the black mess.  Let there be light!

let there be light sky pic

My sisters and I survived a very close encounter with a tornado when we were all very young.  Took out the machine shop, the back end of the garden, our tree house, and a few other areas, but missed our home.  We were only about 20 feet from the back door (where stupid me was watching it take out the tree house till my older sister dragged me to the basement spouting some not-so-nice words-lol) to the tree house.  I have been fascinated by them ever since.  I can relate to the movie Twister.

The funniest part – I love a good storm!  A steady rain puts me to sleep in a heartbeat.  The clouds are a never-ending display of life and movement.  And, if lucky enough, a booming thunder makes me jump a foot to prove I am still alive (lol – sick I know).  The only part the really creeps me (other than the twister) is the lightening.

gentle rain

I love watching, what we call, heat lightening.  It’s the kind that just flashes up in the clouds – beautiful!  The other kind I only like to watch from a distance.  I have seen it strike straight down and split a tree, knock out a transformer box (no, not the Alien Robot Transformer, the kind that supplies electric to a specific area.), and kill a cow.  I hate driving in them too.  Huge fear of it hitting my metal car and I get fried.  (Big push for wearing rubber sneakers right now! Hee hee)  I know this fear is silly, but a couple more people in Colorado recently died (idiots on a golf course – AGAIN – you would think they would learn… Lightening storm-head for shelter! Duh).

lightening

Oh, and we get double and triple rainbows out here – woo hoo (didn’t in WI).

double rainbow

 

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Make Erie Ooo Sound Here!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016, approximately 5:00 p.m.

Phase One: The wind (from hell)-

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(duh me – next time I really should do a video of this to show the wind – LOL).

The trees were all being sucked toward the northwest (this storm).  Whipping around really good!

Phase 2: Moving Fast –

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Clouds were swirling in all directions, but luckily not in any circles! Phew!! (wipe brow here)

Phase 3: Moving Closer (too close for comfort)-

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The tree line in the background is the back edge of our property.  The heavy/dark gray streaks are the tons of rain heading our way.

Phase 4: Ah – what – huh?

6-23-16 WILD STORM 2

The rain was now falling, but from the other direction (I didn’t notice the clouds behind me to the south)?  Apparently, that was the first wave that came through when I ran out to shut everything down and close up.  So while taking these pics, my back was getting drenched – oh joy (yes sarcasm)!?!

The storm I was chasing was now almost black up in the clouds.  I got right up to our tree line and then – – – disappeared???

It was almost like someone had a huge bucket they had dumped up in the sky and it just ran out – that quick.

I shouldn’t be so surprised by Colorado storms anymore.  Several years back we were sitting out on our front patio watching the storms and cars go by.  Then we noticed that it was raining fairly hard across the street, but not a drop on our side – how wild – and fun!

When I was about eight years old on our farm in Wisconsin, I watched a tornado dance across our back yard.  Saw it take out the tree house before my older sister grabbed my arm screaming at me that I was an idiot – so true (hee hee and very proud of it!).  Just love watching the skies!

 

 

 

 

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What’s better than wild skies and Barry White?

Doing my normal early morning routine of weeding (non-stop physical activity, like it or not, it has to be done), and I happened to glance to the west.  This is what I saw:

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The camera just doesn’t do them justice.  The clouds looked like upside-down rolling mountains.  Now this is a first for me.  I have seen some outstanding clouds out here in Colorado.  I’m pretty sure that being up in altitude as some part in it, but these were so different.

We have some major storms coming in again this afternoon, so I am keeping an eye on them.  Just thankful that I looked up at the moment I did.  Now it is just getting all dark, windy and the clouds are back to their normal swirling confusion of:

  • Let’s go this way.
  • No, we want to go that way. 
  • We just want to be ahead of everyone else. 
  • Maybe we will just stop and hold every cloud up!

Then, just as I thought I was really getting into them (Completely spaced out the weeding now.), I heard Barry White on my radio (yes, I garden with music – the plants told me they love it!).  I began singing along with You’re The First, The Last, My Everything.

Then the peacock decided to come up and join me (pretty sure it was NOT my singing).

peacock 2014

You can tell by his feathers that the wind was not being kind.  He was trying to face me.  He thinks he is so pretty – snob!

The wind then took my bucket full of weed bits and tossed it across the yard.  I took that as a hint to sit, observe my space (so much yet to do, and I’m pretty sure it will still be there tomorrow), continue my duet with Barry and call it quits on weeding today.

Hope my happy gardening spreads to you all.  What’s the point of having one if you can’t enjoy it?!

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HAVE YOU NOTICED THE CHANGES?

I would love to get some input here please!

Has anyone else noticed any weather, seasonal, insect, reptile, bird, or critter changes?  I’m not really talking about the change in an insect or animal itself, but more in their natural movements.

We have noticed lots of little changes over the last few years.  Small things like when the Robins show up in spring (This last year they never left, and we had a very unusual winter here.).  We already have seen a full size flying grasshopper, and a large number of butterflies – – they are not supposed to be here for a while yet?  Usually the tiny baby browns show up first.  Then the multi-colored one-inch-ers (yes that is a word in my dictionary – ha ha).  But not this year, the big ones are just here – AND FLYING?!

flying hopper 1    flying hopper 2

The weather has been strange enough, but the oddities in the critters is just wacko (yep, another Rachels’ dictionary addition).

  • Mega blizzards in April that did not go away in 3-days or less.
  • An opossum right up in our yard just after one of those blizzards.
  • Grasshoppers at least a month too soon.
  • Robins that never left.
  • Barn Swallows before all the leaves on the trees are out.
  • No foxes or coyote’s – not a sound.

These are just a few of the strange things we have noticed.

I know that some can be blamed on the ocean current patterns, but that seems to mainly affect the weather.  I also know about tectonic plate shifts.  That may be why there have been (or seems to be) more volcanoes erupting.  But how do you explain all the critters?

volcano

Their natural instincts are way better than mine.  I just get the feeling that they are trying to tell me, or us, something and we are not listening.

see and understand sign

So, my hope here is that some of you will have a response for me.  Are you having the same issues?  Have you even noticed anything different?

Ok, before you all freak out and want to have me committed, NO – I AM NOT A DOOMSDAY PREPPER!  I do believe in being prepared (it’s the 4-H-er in me), but no end of the world stuff yet (Oh and we love watching The Walking Dead – the human condition side of it is awesome!).  I/we do things like canning, buying in bulk on major stuff like coffee, sugar, flour, toilet paper etc.  We have our own chickens for meat and eggs.  A cow is in our field right now and half of it will be in our freezer by winter.

We are striving to get off the grid, just because we like to be independent.  Everything takes time and money to obtain, so we just move along one step at a time.  But the critters are freaking me out!  Normal patterns do not seem “normal” anymore.

Please let me know that I’m not crazy (ok, just tell me gently if I am – LOL)!  Do you see what I see?

owl peek

 

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Is Your Sky Like This?

When I was younger, growing up in Wisconsin was a fun time. One of our favorite things to do was to go out to the pig house and watch the night sky.

The pig house was simply a small structure where the pigs went for shade. There were holes for windows and a door, but no glass or wood blocking them. When we were tall enough (For me that was a big deal. My father loved to quote the Jetsons dog “rook at da rimp” when picking on me – shortest of all, and still am.), we couldn’t wait to climb up on top of the shack, lay back, and watch the sunset, until the stars come out. It was perfect!

We could see the Northern Lights when they were out. Excellent place to view several fireworks shows at one time. Great for sneaking a peek at wildlife wandering through our fields (we had a river and a pond, so everyone came for drinks).

Well, I just received an email from one of my fav sites: Earthsky.com. This time in their list of articles is one titled: How to see the legendary green flash. Green flash? I have heard of the Green Hornet, and Green Lantern but just who is the Green Flash? Oh, silly me, it’s not a person but an occurrence.

green flash in the sky

Apparently some places are going to be lucky enough tonight (5/16/16) to see this wondrous thing. I know for a fact that we won’t, as there is nothing but clouds, rain and cool temps for the next 2 to 3 days (boo hoo!).  Oh, and then there is the mountains.  So, to those of you that are lucky – I hope you will share any photos or videos of this that you might get?!

I love watching the stars at night, clouds passing on a warm summer day, and most anything that has to do with looking up. (Yes, I still find shapes in the stars too! Teaching my grandson how to enjoy them this way.) Think this is an excellent way to view life – looking up.

cloud pics - frong

Do you see the frog?

 
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