Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Great Flood of 2009

The drought around here has been so bad, we prayed at church last Wednesday night for rain. Be careful what you ask for! Even though there was some possibility for rain in the forecast, it looked little different from many other hopeful forecasts which had fizzled with a few clouds and nothing more than a scattered shower. On Thursday the rain started.

By Friday, the news was full of reports of flooding, with 12-14" reported in Salado, a city nearby. I didn't get that much, but it must have been several inches. And now, forecasts were suddenly talking confidently of heavy rains for several days. My pond was still 6 foot below full, so I was still hoping for more. Meanwhile, I decided I better try to get the car out. Too late. I moved it about 50 feet before getting stuck.
I remember the old days, when I was paranoid about getting rain here and getting stuck. But after several months of getting out easily, spread over several years, I had become a bit complacent. Even then, I wasn't too worried. I'd just wait a day or two for things to dry up and would extricate myself. Ha!

The rain continued to fall. The ground finally had adsorbed what it needed and the excess started to flow.

As you probably know, I take my water from the pond. It had been so dry I had twice moved the pump further down the slope to keep it in the water. Now, it disappeared. I drug it out and threw it up the bank in anticipation that the water might rise further. A couple of hours later, I realized it was again in the water and the water was still rising. Again, I drug it out and threw it further up the bank. A couple of hours later, it was again under the water. I had forgotten how high the pond could rise. It had been several years since I'd seen it full. Fortunately the drainage is such that it is almost impossible to actually flood. The water overflowed the spillway, leaving it about 8 feet from the cabin.

Ok, I had gone to the store on Thursday, so I had plenty of food. I had a full gallon of milk and a full package of cookies, not to mention 3 liters of Diet Coke and plenty of food for probably a couple of weeks. I was ready.
Five days later, the rain stopped. I'd missed the Texan's game. I'd missed my doctor's appointment. I was beginning to appreciate Noah. Cabin fever was setting in, and the car was still hopelessly stuck. So, I went to work. I jacked all four wheels of the car up out of the ruts and placed a large rock and pieces of plywood under the wheels. Then, I walked the car forward one piece of plywood at a time until I had progressed about 75 feet to higher ground. I was ready when a few hours of sunshine made the high ground passable.
Today I made the run, and just managed to get out. Schlotski's had never looked so good, and you can thank their free Wi-Fi for this report. Now, some of the forecasts are saying the low pressure area that resulted in this rain might move back this way. Time to stock up on groceries, water and some mud boots, since mine were worn out in this siege. And, I think I'll be more careful where I park the car.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mundane Monthly 2009

Well, several have mentioned that even "Mundane Monthly" might be better than "No News is Good News". So, here you are, the latest edition of the Mundane Monthly.

In the last few weeks, I've been watching the sunsets and sunflowers, examples follow:

I've also been completing a few projects. For one, I've finally completed the soffits under the gable ends of the cabin. Since this was not really doing any harm, it had never been quite high enough on the to do list to get attention, despite my best intentions. Here are photos showing the before and after.

I've also been working down my supply of mesquite for cooking, toward the critical level, because my chainsaw gave me some problems last time I used it. So, I managed to get it running long enough to put up a reasonable supply.
While excavating my ladder and materials out from under the cabin for the soffit work, I did discover evidence that the snake I killed last year was part of a family that lives part of their life under the cabin, a shed snakeskin about 4 foot long.

Football season is finally here, at least the preseason version, so I've been journeying back and forth to Houston. On the last trip I dug my shotgun out of storage, determined to take advantage of a good supply of dove around the place. That began to pay dividends yesterday on the first day of the season. Just need to pick up some jalapenos and bacon for my first mess of dove on the grill.