Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You Can't Fool Mother Nature

Mother Nature is a demanding mom, and has a way of hijacking the plane of intentions. Take a look at the picture at the last posting that shows the corner of the garden fence and the edge of the creek. It shows about 3' between the post and the edge. Well, that's down to about 18" now. We decided that it would be better to relocate the entire garden up near the house rather than lose fence posts, wire fencing and the blueberry plants to the creek. So instead of building this week, Ed spent all three days on the tractor pulling posts, rolling wire and digging up trees with the backhoe. The good news.... the weather was spectacularly beautiful all week.

He dug up two apple trees, two cherry trees, a guava bush, a mimosa tree and twelve blueberry bushes, brought them all up here to the house, redug holes I had marked out on the ground, and replanted all the plants. As far as I can tell, there were no casualties. Alot of dirt fell off one of the apple trees, but I'm hoping it was dormant enough to not notice. Bare root, right? Time will tell.

In the pasture garden, the posts were set four feet into the ground, and strung with eight foot wire to keep the elk out. So far...we haven't had elk in the front yard..only deer, so we won't have to put the monster fence up. We also filled every fence post hole with sand down in the pasture so no elk would step in one, sink up to their chest and snap a leg..that would just be too ugly to even think about.

Ed went back to work this morning (to rest up) and I spent most of the day shaking dirt out of sod strips (chickens love that grass), and moving benches in place. It's amazing what you can move around with leverage and a hand truck. That cedar bench and log ends weigh a ton!
I still have to break up sod for the strawberry patch and the raspberries.You can see those marked out in white. It'll probably take me another week..maybe two.. to get those in, depending on you-know-who...Mother Nature.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Alllll Aboard the Pineapple Express!

If it's not one thing, it's another. Remember that 27" of snow for Christmas? It managed to work it's way down to about 12", but was stubbornly lingering about. We were expecting things to warm up a bit and for some rain to come through starting this week. Tuesday night as Ed was getting ready for his early flight back to work Wednesday morning, the phone rings.. a recorded message:
"This is the Wahkiakum County Sheriffs Office with an emergency weather alert. Heavy rain accompanied by a high tide will create a flooding event beginning early Wednesday morning, continuing through Friday..." ...and on it went.
Our house sits up on a hill and is safe from rising water, but the creek at the base of our pasture can be a Our elk-fenced garden is down there and the field is annually shrinking. I'll post some photos in a minute, but first a word from our sponsor.

Remember the building project? Well it's still going, just a little slower. Travel interruptions, holidays and plain cold weather have taken their toll. In spite of those things, Ed keeps plugging away every day he's home.

Plumbing is still the project. He's putting in pipe for the water heater and washing machine. Wahoo! Modern conveniences. I really hate taking laundry down to the's so hard to find just the right rock!

Obviously, the waste pipe is all black, but see that white tube stuff? Well that's the water supply pipe. Pipe isn't pipe anymore, it's super duper flexible plastic tubing. Who knew? We went through 100' of it like it was nothing.

Ed hands me this piece of tubing and a brass T thingie on the end, and he says "Next time you're in town, I need 100' more of the tubing and one of these Ts, 3/4"x3/4"."
"OK!" I nod like I know what I'm doing, and put the thing in my purse. I have a flash thought of when you're at the airport and the TSA guy asks you if any strangers gave you a package to transport. But I do, in fact know which place is the plumbing supply place, and I have all the pieces to wave at them, so I'm good to go....if I could go.

Which brings us back to the Pineapple Express. If the jet stream is going to bring in a storm from Hawai'i , the least it could do is smell like plumeria. Ed got up Wednesday morning at 0245 to drive to the airport and he says, "That storm's not too bad. There is still snow everywhere." I'm thinking, "Man, we dodged a bullet there!" Silly woman. By the time I got up at 0730, the foot deep remaining snow that covered every surface not scraped by machines was GONE. Melted. The creek was running like an elephant on steroids and it was full to the top. But wait, there's more! The real rain wasn't due until Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning, with high tide at 10:00 am (this morning). I woke up this morning expecting serious disaster. It was bad enough, but it's livable. The creek here in the first picture has about a 12' high bank. I haven't gotten in the car yet to see how the neighbors lower down fared, or where the road is blocked.

When we put the garden fence up, the corner was about 40' from the edge of the creek..maybe more. We've been here three years, and we've had the 50 year flood, the 100 year flood, and now the 1000 year flood. That elk fencing was expensive and a lot of hard work. I'll guess we wind up moving, or at least adjusting the garden. I don't think the blueberry bushes are going to be very happy. Raspberries are much more laid back.

Ed, the barn picture is for you, since you're back at work. Sorry it's blurry. The barn is safe and secure. This was at 0730, and the water was starting to recede.

All told, we got about 8" of rain in 24 hours, plus melted a foot of snow. That'll keep things a little damp.

So tomorrow, assuming the road is clear, I'll drive into town to get some of that white water supply line stuff, and a couple of those brass T thingies.