Summer continues to trudge along Chez Nous. The farm box comes every Wednesday and the dogs beg for whatever might be in there, which lately has included a lot of kale. You want kale? OK, here you go:
They greedily grab it, chew it a few times, spit it out (“yuck”) and then beg for more:
I have some tiny tomatoes on my four tomato vines:
I finally unpacked the shelving units, assembled them, and installed them in the closet, thereby creating a pantry out of a dead space that used to contain a furnace:
Edwin put in a decent light fixture last winter, and the leak in the roof from where the furnace vent used to be has been repaired, and now I have a place for my pressure cooker, gelato maker, dog food, extra beer, vacuum cleaner, George Foreman grill, toolbox, springform cake pans, emergency backup pieces parts in case Thor gets sick, emergency backup coffee-making devices in case the electric coffeemaker commits suicide, food processor attachments, and dust mop.
The knitting continued:
and Tiki kept taking sunbaths:
There was no fresh club football, but there was Tour de France, Copa America, and Women’s World Cup on the telly, and I figured out how to get the new DVD player to connect to the Interwebs so I could watch online movies. I planned my menus, cleaned my kitchen, did my shopping, and settled in a for a long holiday weekend.
Sunday night, we got clobbered by the biggest thunderstorm we’ve had since we moved into the house, and that includes Hurricane Isabel. Kirby went under the bed, and Tiki and I got in the bed and cuddled, and Mr. D ran around the house doing King of the Castle puttering of some kind, and the hail stones pounded hard against the window. It only lasted about 15 minutes, but it knocked out the power at about 6 pm. Before it got dark, we got out the candles and I fished the battery backup for my cpap machine out of the cabinet. We looked out the windows and saw that some branches were down, which is typical. Whenever there’s a thunderstorm with any kind of wind, our neighbor’s half-dead giant Tulip Poplar trees shed some of their branches. Our house was undamaged and surely the power would be back by morning. We spent the evening hunkered down reading (him) and knitting (me) by candlelight.
Monday morning, power had not returned, but the sun was out and we got a good look at the aftermath. A tree crashed through a house around the corner. Steinmetz across the street (that’s not his name, but that’s what we call him–long story) lost his deck and all of the windows on the west side of his house, and his roof was punctured. Blowing branches from God knows where came down the street and broke the side mirror off the Volvo. The Tulip Poplars dropped a lot of wood, but almost entirely in their own yard and not ours. Power lines were down and roads were closed on both the main streets that frame our little triangular neighborhood. Weirdly, go one block north or three blocks south, and there was practically no damage aside from a few little boughs in the gutters. In the zone, however, there were numerous big established trees that were ripped out root ball and all. It was approaching 90 degrees by 10 am, it was humid as all get out, and there was no air conditioning.
Worst of all, from my own selfish point of view, we lost our tree:
My tree! My beautiful tree!
I kept thinking it was just my imagination and the next time I looked out the window everything would be normal.
When that didn’t happen, I kept telling myself that it was only a tree; none of us were hurt (except the tree), the house was undamaged, and even the car only had piddly damage.
The only thing that did was make me feel guilty about being sad.
Then I thought about how the billions of dollars worth of landscaping were all spent on the assumption that there would be shade, shade that no longer existed. I thought about how unpleasantly sunny the sunroom was without any shade. I thought about what that would do to our energy bills in the summertime, and I thought about how long it takes for a nice big shade tree to grow to a good size.
Then I thought about how the tree guy wasn’t going to be able to take care of us until Saturday, so Mr. D and I thought we’d try to liberate the schip laurels from some of the smaller branches. After about two hours, we liberated two.
At that point, I thought What if the power doesn’t come back on today? So we stopped (not that we had the energy to continue anyway), and we took cold showers, and we started sweating again as soon as we dried off, so we went for lunch at the frigid mexican chain restaurant at the mall, and we ate chips and drank about a gallon of iced tea each. And then we went off in search of ice. We had to drive around for a while to find a place that hadn’t sold out, but we found some, and we went home and set up a cooler for my insulin and Kirby’s whoozit stuff with the medicine dropper.
That’s when I remembered that the battery for the cpap machine was only good for about 8 hours and that I needed a recharge. So I called a friend and asked if we could plug the recharger in at her house, and it ended up with them inviting the dogs and us over to spend the hottest part of the day. They cooled us off and fed us and admired out dogs and showed off their children and recharged my battery and taught me which of the two identical mini adirondack chairs belonged to Nora and which one to Jesse (Nora had very strong feelings about this). By the time we went home, it had cooled off nicely, so we opened the house and managed to have a fairly comfortable night.
The next morning, the tree had not spontaneously reattached all of its bits….
…and the temperature started rising and Tiki was panting and obviously suffering, and there still wasn’t any power, so we decided to board the dogs at the vet so their little brains wouldn’t get fried. I went out to lunch and wandered around in air conditioning for a while before I gave up and went home and tried to knit.
The blue squiggle is a hat, but the big brown piece? That’s a shawl, and that’s llama yarn from the farm, which I’d link to, but I cant seem to remember the name right now. Llama is a mixture of short coarse fibers and long floaty fibers, which means it’s a heavy, scratchy yarn that sheds hairs that inevitably find their way up your nose. Exactly not what you want sitting on your lap when the indoor temperature is….
….oh dear: 85 degrees. So I put the llama away and started a hat:
At last the power came back on Tuesday afternoon and the air conditioning stabilized the indoor temp by Wednesday morning. The cable came back Wednesday afternoon, so we were back on for football and cycling, and I picked up the plain wool farm yarn and worked some farm squares.
This evening, I arranged them on the floor so I could see how much I have to finish before the auction in September. For those of you who still don’t get it, this is how things are at my house:
I am never ever alone, and only rarely unmolested.
We had to toss a fridge full of food, and I left my new Birks outside in the storm and they were ruined beyond any repair, but I ordered some new ones, and we got the Volvo fixed, and today the tree guy came.
I am still not okay with this, but there is nothing to be done about it so I am trying to move on.
We’re set for firewood for a while. I don’t know what has happened to the squirrels who used to live there, but I like to think that they’ve already moved into a new tree.
Now the yard looks like this:
Burned out and barren, just like my soul. : (
There. I promised Mr. D that if he gave me 10 minutes, we could watch the end of the Germany-Japan quarterfinal online, since the DVR cut off at the beginning of extra time. No time for proofreading.