Monthly Archives: October 2012

High Winds–or A Lot of Hot Air


By now you have figured out that Hubby and I are what some might call hobby farmers: we farm, but at least one of us holds a job to pay the bills. And my husband’s pet project on the farm is hen husbandry–er, I mean, he likes his hens–er, what I really mean is he likes to eat eggs, and he thinks having hens around is comical, and he likes taking care of the chickens.

Anyway, in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, a friend from Arkansas called my husband and asked how his hens were faring. Hubby told the following whopper:

I wrapped myself up, being sure to wear my hard hat in case of any flying debris, and went outside to check on the chickens. Fay, who doesn’t enjoy the chicken chores, forgot to close the side screened window on the chicken house as well as the back hatch door that opens into the fenced yard. With all the wind, I was a bit worried about what may be churning in the hen house. When I opened the main door to the roost area, you’ll never believe what those hens were doing!

The wind was screaming through the house, coming in the open window and blowing out the rear hatch, sending sawdust and feathers flying like a rocket flame. But those hens had it under control. They were flying in place and in formation over the roost bars. Whenever they needed to give their wing muscles a rest, they grabbed the roost bars with their toes, kept their wings spread, and wind surfed.

Why there was so much wind funneling through the house that the eggs were floating in a helix formation in the vortex! I just stuck my goldfish net into the jetstream and nabbed me an egg, one at a time. Those hens didn’t even blink an eye!

And you thought only fishermen told tall tales.

Short Story from Hurricane Sandy


The televisions are blaring in both the bedroom and kitchen with non-stop weather reports as Hurricane Sandy closes the gap between riding north on the Gulf Stream and slamming ashore at the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Outside the kitchen window, wind is howling and rain is pelting the house. Dark clouds obscure nature’s light.

The missus surveys the collection of flashlights, candles, oil lamps, hand-cranked L.E.D. lanterns, matches and other emergency notions lined up neatly on the linen-cloaked dining room table. She is drying her hands after scouring the bathtub, then filling it with water. The water can be used to drink, to flush toilets, to water dogs or wash dishes if the power goes out, taking the well pump with it. In the kitchen, a pot of boiling water cooks spaghetti noodles. Garlic Texas toast browns in the oven. A freshly made pan of homemade sauce steams beside the spaghetti pot. The kitchen timer buzzes, calling the missus to attention.

She spears a noodle with a fork, runs it under cold water to cool, and pops it in her mouth. Perfect al dente. She turns off the oven and pulls the cookie sheet holding the savory bread from the rack, setting it on the countertop to cool. The noodles are draining in the colander when she calls her husband. It’s meal time.

He stands from a reclining position in his easy chair. She sets plates beside the stove and fetches grated parmesan cheese from the refrigerator.

Pop. Blink. Flicker. Whoosh. Out go the lights. It’s not the candlelight dinner she imagined.

Vividness and Density–The Key Qualities of a Book


Our lesson today comes from author Philip Roth, whose work is read around the world. Several of Roth’s books have inspired movies. Roth speaks to us with candor about qualities that make a book successful and pleasing to the reader.

The Boy Is Home Just Ahead of the Hurricane


Wow! That was cutting it close, I thought, when the docs decided to let Hubby loose from the hospital on the eve of Sandy’s arrival.

On the way home, I filled five prescriptions for him and one for me. He got medications to keep his heart beating regularly and to maintain his blood pressure levels on exertion. I would have preferred a nice bottle of Kahlua for my Rx, but I got an antiinflammatory instead to be sure my old back doesn’t ache while assisting Hubby with daily activities.

After picking up a few groceries, we beat it home to complete preparations for the hurricane’s arrival. One daughter lives close to ground zero in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. We fielded questions for prepping from her.

Our sailboat is docked in the northern Chesapeake Bay. May it stay tethered where it belongs!

The last time the power grid was interrupted in metro-D.C., it was weeks before customer service was restored. At that time, the temperatures were 100 degrees. HOT! No air conditioning or fans. This time, more than 20,000 customers are without power a half day before the eye hits land. The power outage in the midst of the storm is estimated to be severe in impact.

In western Maryland, we experienced a several-hour long outage last night. Who knows why the power cut off, but power has resumed for now.

I’ve cooked food, filled the bath tub with water for flushing toilets and watering animals, gathered water and snacks for nibbling if the power goes out, assembled emergency lighting, filled gas cans for the generator, and other tasks to make riding out the storm as comfortable as possible. I have one more trip to make out into the elements to feed the horses and check on the chickens. Wind is gusting at 40 MPH and getting heavier. Soon no one will stir outside without risking bodily harm.

I am thankful I live in the day and age when I get lots of lead time to prepare. By taking advantage of the information provided by TV and radio, I am as ready as I can be.

 

 

 

 

Primp Your Blog, A New Leaf


In an update on an old friend, Kira, the creator of Primp My Blog, has changed her website, suitably calling it “Her New Leaf.”

In her words:

While working on my blog’s redesign, it was a (lofty) goal of mine to do all of the design work myself. Considering I am a self-taught Photoshopper, have minimal HTML experience, and little to no CSS knowledge, this was a lot to take on. I found it really difficult to find the information I was looking for out there on the big, bad internet, and the information I did find was often too technical for me to understand or poorly translated to English. But I accomplished my goal, and I love my new blog, and in the true spirit of Her New Leaf, I learned a ton of new things in the process!

I’m excited to share my knowledge with you in a  feature called Primp My Blog. I hope to present the information I find all over the internet in an easy and readable way so that someone who is brand new to blogging can utilize it. Please let me know what you hope to learn, and I will do my best to learn it myself, then share here!

Go here to see for yourself. There are lots of tips and tools to help you make the most of your social media sites.

http://www.hernewleaf.com/primp-my-blog/

The Power of the Media


Mind control? We don’t need mind control. We have T.V.”

–Central Intelligence Agency, 1970’s, as reported by Naval Intelligence physicist Dr. Richard Alan Miller