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hatches battened

February 24, 2012

The wind is howling and the rain is pouring here.  I’m not taking it personally.

Not the most loving of gods, nor the most indifferent of universes, could care

less about my artificial attempt to shorten winter.


I’m actually heartened in a way, because I know it could be worse.  Almost

exactly a year ago we were getting socked with a 250 mm (10 inch) snowfall.

It was the winter wonderland from hell.  And us without our snowshoes yet.


Slinkee and I ventured out to do the minimum:  she to pee and me to check

the chickens and the rain gauge.  The girls had already squeezed out three

eggs.  They eagerly sprinted from the coop to the greenhouse, and might even

venture outside if the rain lets up.  Their feathers are often wet these days

when I pet them at bedtime.


In fact, Jude, who is home with cold symptoms, just reported that they have

indeed gone out into the garden.  Trooper that she is, she won’t let some measly

sniffles (or some sniffly measles, I would assume) keep her down.  She’s making

some green tea and preparing to do our taxes.


We had 50 mm (2 inches) of rain in our gauge at noon.  There are puddles all

over the farm.  Slink and I quickly checked the micro-hydro system to assure

that it’s running smoothly.  When we get heavy rain like this, the increased flow

into the catchment barrel pumps too much air into the pipes and makes them



They were fine, though, due to some recent adjustments we’d made.  Everything

else seemed to be adequately battened down as well.  Yesterday, I sealed the roof

of the shed so I could enclose it for storage.  It’s still leaking due to the slant of

the rain today, but I’m gaining on it.


So, satisfied that I’d done all I was willing to do outside today, I grabbed some fire-

wood, called Slinkee and fled to the Warm and Dry.  Since we didn’t do our daily

walk or drive, she settled for an indoor version of Gimmethat!, the object of con-

tention being a ratty blanket rather than the usual ratty rope.


A quick check of the news revealed that the U.S. is finally facing gas prices as

high as we pay here.  Also, the Republican presidential candidates continue to

ramp up the hysteria, a word I think they’d be comfortable with because of its

misogynist roots. 


The consistently odious Newt Gingrich, forever searching for boogeymen,

informs us that the U.S. faces an existential threat from Islamic terrorists.  I

guess it pays to be a scholar, or at least play one on TV.  All Newt has done is

come up with another adjective for “actual”.  Still, it does remind me of the time

Jean-Paul Sartre damn near overthrew the American government during the

1964 World Series.


Look, it’s late winter.  Cabin fever is running rampant, even if you’re campaign-

ing in Arizona.  Thursday in Orlando, Florida, police in riot gear had to hold back

1200 shoppers too eager to buy special-edition Nike shoes.  Please let’s all take a

deep breath and batten down our hatches.  Snuggle up with someone you love or

at least like — or snuggle yourself.  Don’t do or say anything you’ll regret in March.


Perhaps these photos of a recent leak in our garden hose will break the ice.


  1. Charlotte Wales permalink
    February 25, 2012 5:45 am

    Morning, Allen – – I’ve been feeling a bit “frayed” the last few days – politics, weather, congestion, various demands on my time; reading this post was a small pleasure, one that made me take a deep breath, put a smile back on my face, and go feed my birds waiting outside my window. Thank you! And tell Jude I hope she’s feeling better – –

    • February 25, 2012 10:54 am

      Good morning, Charlotte, and you’re welcome. I’m happy to have helped pep up your day. Jude thanks you but feels no better. I’m hoping the KU – Mizzou game this afternoon will buoy her spirits.

      • Gordon permalink
        February 27, 2012 8:22 am

        No doubt the Kansas-Mizzou game did lift Jude’s spirits. Incredible game to the last second of OT. Please let her know that my Baylor Bears (first time in literally my life I’ve been able to say that with a straight face about the Men’s basketball team) has been doing all in their power to boost her spirits as well, assuming she’s rooting for either Kansas or Mizzou — almost the only two teams in the Big 12 they can’t beat.

      • February 27, 2012 10:56 am

        Jude says she’s honoured by Baylor’s contributions to KU and Mizzou’s seasons. We do, however, expect both the male and female Bears to go deep into March Madness. And, to keep things in perspective, remember that LSU is 0 – 2 against your alma mater in bowl games.

  2. beth reed permalink
    February 25, 2012 9:30 pm

    So was there thunder and lightening with all that rain?
    I enjoyed your post and hope Jude gets to feeling better. I am having mouth or I should say teeth issues. I am living off of soup and jello these days. But I am plugging along.
    Ii have been distracted the last couple of days. A friend of mine, his boss shot himself in the head yesterday and lived until five yesterday. It was early morning when this happened and my friend Al has been tore up over it so I have been trying to help him talk this out. Thankfully Al is not the one tthat found him.
    Sorry about posting all of this. It has just been really sad. Ttyl and good night.

    • February 26, 2012 11:10 am

      Beth, it’s impressive that you can reach out to someone else when you’re hurting so much yourself. As usual, there was no thunder or lightning with this storm, but the wind cut right through my well-insulated body.

  3. beth reed permalink
    February 26, 2012 6:26 pm

    Hmmm sound like a cold and wet rain. Yuck! I hope that Jude is feeling better. It is the most irritable feeling to have a cold.
    For some reason my body is wound up and I can’t sleep. I am exhausted and took some advil pm and I hope that will lipull me to sleep. Goodnight.

    • February 27, 2012 10:27 am

      I hope you got some sleep, Beth. Jude did, and is now cobbling together a “CSI” and “Law and Order” marathon as she coughs and rests.

  4. Gordon permalink
    February 27, 2012 3:21 pm

    Wow! To show what a fan-of-little-faith I am, I had to go check to see that Baylor really had beaten LSU in two bowl games. Suddenly the sacrifice they made with regard to Kansas and Mizzou seems more palatable. I’ve got some LSU relatives I must contact immeidately.

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