Thursday, October 31, 2019

Working Blues

Today is my 7th day of working in a row; but it's also the last day before a long weekend off! I cover the Urgent Care or Emergency Room shifts so always in the evening. That's my preference; I leave the morning shifts for those with children and spouses to go home to. This way I get to sleep in. :)

My house was in the 50s this morning as the fire died down during the night. I suppose eventually I'll have to turn the furnace on, but we haven't even gone below zero yet and it just feels too early. What I will do this weekend is put flannel sheets on the bed!

I should go back out and bring in another bag of wood. There is nothing worse than waking up to an empty wood rack by the stove; I try to keep enough for a day and a half inside. Of course, there's the emergency stack in the porch, but that's for sickness, blizzards or injuries; basically, whenever hauling more in becomes a major event.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Year of the ...

I always try to take pictures of my crab apple tree when it blossoms. This year it was on May 20 and the pictures were still on my camera because I haven't been on the computer.




So, those were my spring photos; now for the fall shots:



It's fascinating that no matter what the weather does, some things thrive and others struggle. All summer I was calling 2019 The Year of the Duck as there was an abundance of wetlands that never dried up. I didn't realize it was really The Year of the Garden Spider! If I'm lucky I'll get one of these to make her home around my place. This year I counted nine and there were probably more that I didn't spot.

I didn't miss the grasshoppers, but was sad there were fewer snakes. Frogs did quite well also. Maddening that the fleas were everywhere. I heard ticks were bad, but my chickens keep those in check.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Hello, again

The summer has wound down and autumn is here to stay. It's been a memorable year so far. The crazy wet spring that kept over half the fields unplanted stuck with us. To illustrate that: I never had to water my garden all summer long. Sadly, it culminated in flooding a few weeks ago that cut the town I work in in half. People had to drive miles out of town to reach a road that would take them to the other side. Power was shut off because so many basements were full of water and/or sewage; which meant sump pumps stopped working and more basements began filling up. Residents have been scrambling to get replacement water heaters and furnaces installed along with the rest of the clean-up.

Ironically, when this all happened the county had their emergency response drill scheduled; wisely, they chose to cancel that.

This was bad enough, but what concerns me is what happens next spring? Flooding this late in the year is very unusual for us. The ground is still saturated and will soon be frozen. If we continue to get these extremes in precipitation all winter, we could be seeing even worse flooding when it all melts.

A few years back, I read a discussion on the environmental costs of heating. Someone had calculated that it would take less energy to move everyone to a warm climate for the winter instead of heating buildings in the north. Is there a word for something that sounds good in theory, but would be an absolute nightmare in reality?

First there would need to be adequate living space and infrastructure for all those people and their pets. Next, how would it be organized when even evacuating a small city seems to be beyond our abilities? Do the jobs go with the populations? More infrastructure needed. Force people out at gunpoint or keep military on site to stop the looting? Farm animals. Nursing home and hospital patients. The homeless. There are probably dozens of other issues that any half-decent debate team could spot.

Conclusion: have adequate insulation, replace drafty windows and put on a sweater. ;)

I'm going to try to get back into regular blogging. Wait and see how that goes.