Archive for the ‘rain’ Tag

09-14-2016 Journal – Mother Nature & Dentistry!   Leave a comment

Since our return from our vacation things have quickly returned to the normal everyday insanity. Over the years I’ve discovered that Mother Nature is a fickle friend at best and she got me again this week. We were still enjoying the post vacation afterglow as we visited a nearby Walmart. It was sunny and bright with a chance of thunderstorms. As we exited the store it was pouring rain with wind gusts of 30-40 mph.  We didn’t give it much thought until we heard on the radio about the severe wind advisory throughout the area.

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We arrived home to find the huge 60 foot maple tree in our backyard down for the count. It had missed hitting the house by only a few feet. It was a double trunked tree with one trunk now on the ground and the other still standing but leaning dangerously close to the house.  It was badly damaged as well and looked as if it might fall at any moment.

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The trunk that was down was partially blocking a nearby road used by our neighbors to reach their homes.  One of those neighbors arrived within minutes with a chain saw and agreed to take the wood in payment for cleaning up the mess. Hooray . . Right?  Not hardly. After doing an inspection of the standing trunk it was obvious that it too had to be immediately removed before it fell and caused serious damage to the house.

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The better-half found a guy through someone at work who is a tree removal expert.  Having no real choice in the matter he arrived to inspect the tree and I agreed to his price (OMFG) and told him to proceed.  So yesterday I got to spend my entire day removing limbs and leaves and watching the tree get dismantled.

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It’s now the day after and the tree is gone, I’m sore all over, and the house was saved from serious damage.  Nothing can save the damage the entire experience did to my wallet.  Thanks a lot Mother Nature . . . you nasty old hag.

After the last of the limbs and leaves were picked up and removed I took a shower and arrived for my dentist appointment right on time. The day just kept getting better and better as two of my teeth were extracted.  I was packed with gauze, patted on the head, and sent on my way.

THREE DAYS I REALLY WANT TO FORGET

08-14-2016 Journal – My Almost Friend!   Leave a comment

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Mother Nature is normally not my friend.

We celebrated yesterday because it finally rained.  Not like the dozen or so sprinkles we’ve received in recent weeks but an honest-to-god rain shower.  The rain cooled things off overnight but ten minutes after the sun came out this morning the temperature zoomed back to 90 degrees.

I should be happy . . right?   Not very.  We need a good five or six days of rain just to get the water levels back where they belong.  Early this morning at 5am both my better-half and I were awaken by the sounds of tree branches cracking. Just outside our bedroom window a rather large tree branch snapped and barely missing the house.  This portion of the tree was obviously dead and we knew it was only a matter of time before it fell.  I once attempted to climb the tree with a chain saw to cut it down but it was just too dangerous.

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The house is just a few feet to the right of the photograph.

How it missed the house is a mystery but thank god it did. That’s the second time in the last year a tree has fallen close to the house and missed it completely.  We must have a guardian angel keeping an eye on things.

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Mother Nature isn’t usually this kind.  I remember a time in Massachusetts that we had a storm that dropped a 100 foot tall oak tree onto our backyard and took the corner of my house with it.  At the same time a giant pine tree fell on my car in the driveway and crushed it completely.  I count my blessings any time she chooses to leave me alone. Today was one of those days.

MOTHER NATURE IS NOT NICE

02-26-2016 Journal–Turkeys, Art & a Dirty Joke!   Leave a comment

This winter weather here in Maine remains fickle. Fifty degrees one day, then fog the next, ten degrees the third day, and freezing rain and black ice the next.  I’ve pretty much given up listening the the forecasters because they apparently don’t have much of a clue either.

With February almost gone we’re within six weeks or so from seeing winter start to fade away.  Overall it’s been one of the better winters since I moved to Maine. Temperatures were mild up until Christmas and we’ve only had one snow storm worth mentioning.  Without a doubt the best part is how much money we’ve saved on home heating oil.  Warmer temperatures and a serious drop in price from $3.40 a gallon to a $1.35 have kept a smile on our faces all winter.  We’ll probably end up saving between five and eight hundred dollars in heating costs this season.

We took a ride through the surrounding area last week just to see what was happening.  As always here in Maine we stumbled on wild turkeys a number of times.  With most of the snow cover already melting they’re able to feed in more locations than usual.  Here they are . . .

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Maybe they’re the true harbingers of Spring and not that dumbass gopher in Pennsylvania.

With the rediscovery of my creative juices I’ve been working on two projects steadily for the last week.  I’ve finished one and in another few days I’ll finish another.  I won’t post too much of either until they’re both complete.  Here’s a shot of a two square inch portion of the first. It’s a little strange but that’s how I roll.

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Just for a laugh I thought I’d send out a truly tasteless joke.  It made me laugh out loud for some reason but it’s sure to irritate a few of the ladies out there. That’s too bad . . . but here it is anyway.

A women went to apply for a job as a truck driver. Not too keen on the idea, the personnel manager for the trucking company said, “You have to be pretty tough to cut it as a truck driver, you know.”  I’m tough, I really am,” said the eager applicant. “Well, do you smoke and drink?” “Yes of course.” “Do you cuss a lot?” asked the interviewer. “You bet you asshole, “ said the woman. “I cuss like a lumberjack.” “So have you ever been picked up by the fuzz?”  “Well, no,” she admitted, “but I’ve been swung around by the tits a couple of times.”

Please no moaning . . . everyone needs a dirty joke once in a while even if it is a little corny.

C’MON SPRING

1-11-2016 Journal – Sunshine, Snow, Rain!   Leave a comment

What a strange few weeks it’s been once again. Another weather related fiasco to thoroughly screw up our anticipated cold and snowy winter.  First we had warm weather through most of November and December, then two weeks of really cold weather with an 8 inch snowfall, and finally three and a half inches of rain this week  This photo was taken yesterday as our backyard quickly filled up with more than three and a half feet of water on top of the snow. 

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I should be thanking my lucky stars that this rainstorm was not snow. If it had been there’d be more than three feet of snow to deal with.  I guess just this once I can be happy with the weather forecasters being correct.  This morning I jumped out of bed and looked out the window to check the water level and this is what I saw.

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All of the snow from the last storm had been thoroughly washed away but the snow that had been underwater through the night remained intact. It really doesn’t mean much but I thought it was kind of interesting.

With all of this rain I’m once again stuck in the house where I’m trying to keep busy with projects.  Most of the Christmas paraphernalia has been sorted through, repackaged into containers, and returned to the attic for another year.  Fortunately my better-half was able to fill quite a few boxes with items either damaged or out of date.  Each year we’re slowly but surely weeding out the useless stuff giving her more room to store more new useless stuff. It’s what I call her “Circle of Life".

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I began sorting through my Christmas gifts which were all pretty cool but yesterday I found some that were outstanding. Two of our friends who love making homemade foods like we do gave us some of their samples.  We received four jars  with some truly interesting flavors. I’m always preaching about doing things outside-the-box and they did it in a big way. There was Hot Tamale Apple Wedges, Orange/Blueberry jam, Strawberry Vanilla jam, and best of all for me Zucchini/Habanero jam.

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I love all things hot and have experimented a few times in making jams with some elevated heat levels. My best efforts couldn’t come close to matching up to that Zucchini/Habanero jam. I ate 1/3 of the jar on two toasted English muffins and it was the best damn hot jam I’ve ever eaten.  Our friends have definitely motivated me to try again and I will.  I’ll certainly need something to give them next Christmas and I want it to be as good as I can make it.

12-04-2015 Journal–Christmas Nonsense & Trivia!   Leave a comment

Twenty shopping days until Christmas and still no snow.  This weather is starting to freak me out a little. I was out on the deck this week putting away the furniture and had to return to the house to remove some clothing. It was too hot. Can you believe that? Anyway here are some photo’s and Christmas factoids for your entertainment.

*** Germany made the first artificial Christmas trees. They were made of goose feathers and dyed green. ***

Yesterday my better-half took me along as an escort while she Christmas shopped. This was how yesterday appeared to me:

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*** If you received all of the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," you would receive 364 gifts.***

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Rain doesn’t help my already waning amounts of Christmas spirit. What a mess.  I find myself wishing for a good snow storm that would drop four or five inches of the white stuff on us. 

*** In Mexico, wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is said to bring new love in the upcoming year. *** 

Last evening we began decorating the interior of the house. A little wine, a little beer, and lots of patience.  We made a great deal of progress but it wasn’t easy. Here are a few shots of the debris ridden living room in these “before”  photo’s.

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*** The poinsettia plant was brought into the United States from Mexico by Joel Poinsett in the early 1800’s. ***

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*** Rudolph" was actually created by Montgomery Ward in the late 1930’s for a holiday promotion. The rest is history. ***

We put the finishing touches to the tree and of course the damn cat insisted on hiding underneath and did his best to knock it over. That’s one Christmas tradition we’ve tried for years to change but he just won’t listen.

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*** Clearing up a common misconception, in Greek, X means Christ. That is where the word "X-Mas" comes from. Not because someone took the "Christ" out of Christmas. ***

Our holiday preparations will continue for another week or so or until we run out of holiday stuff to hang on other holiday stuff (truthfully that will never happen).

*** Eggnog first became popular in England where it was considered a drink for the upper class. ***

20 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

10-29-2015 Journal – #/+*@^ Computers & Limericks!   Leave a comment

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I always try to plan ahead for ideas for this blog but today I’m having a difficult time concentrating.  I’m a lover of all new technology and make it a point to stay up to speed with new software and hardware as it comes available. Today is one of those days that computer junkies fear the most.  No working internet connection.

We had a moderately heavy rainstorm last night and things were fine when I crashed into bed at 1 am.  I awoke this morning and my internet connection is dead. While my in-house network is still functioning thanks to a battery backup unit, good old Time Warner’s internet feed is missing in action. Unfortunately our house is located in a semi-dead spot for internet, GPS, and telephone reception.  I have range extenders for damn near everything but they also run in conjunction with the internet.

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In order for me to make or receive calls today I’ll be forced to drive a few hundred yards up a nearby hill near the house to get just two bars.  My alarm system is sending me text messages on the phone (3G) telling me the system is off.  Damn, tell me something I don’t know.

In the past the system usually comes back on-line very quickly but not today. It’s been four hours already and still nothing.  And of course their telephone lines are busy, busy, busy.

Let’s kill some time today  while I wait for the internet to return by revisiting some things I truly enjoy and that’s limericks.  I’ve collected many, written a few, and they always seem to lean to the naughtier side of things. Some of the best I’ve ever seen have come from Great Britain because they’ve been writing them for centuries and have some of the naughtiest and funniest.  I’ll try to keep todays collection naughty but nice and I’ll skip the x-rated stuff for now. Here’s five of my fav’s.

#1

With a maiden a chap just begat
Bouncing triplets named Pat, Nat, and Tat;
Twas fun in the breeding,
But hell in the feeding;
As there wasn’t a spare tit for Tat.

#2

There once was a young lady named Hilda
Who went out with a top body-builder;
He said that he should,
That he could and he would,
And he did and it damn near killed her.

#3

A notorious harlot named Hearst
In the pleasures of men is well-versed;
Reads the sign at the head
Of her well rumpled bed;
“The customer always comes first”.

#4

There was a young fellow from Kent
Whose tool was incredibly bent;
To save himself trouble,
He put it in double,
And, instead of coming he went!

#5

As the elevator car left our floor,
Poor old Sue caught her boobs in the door;
She yelled a great deal,
But had they been real,
She’d have bellowed considerably more.

***

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‘And one from an anonymous kid.’

Hopefully some time today I can get these posted but I’m at the mercy of the Time Warner road crews.  Here’s one of my own limericks I wrote after living in Maine for more than ten years.  No names have been used to protect the somewhat innocent.

There once was a young lady from Maine
Who ruined her dress with a stain.
She thought she was clever,
But her mother knew better,
And asked “What the hell is his name”.

It’s now  been eight hours without the internet and it just came back on.  “Better late than never.” should be scrawled somewhere on Time Warner’s Logo.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

09-13-2015 Journal–Rainy Day Projects!   Leave a comment

With the season change looming and with a few days of rain expected, it’s time to get back to work on some of my side projects. One in particular needs immediate attention because I’m running out of time to have it done by November 14th.  It’s a weird but special gift for my better-half the beer connoisseur.  On top of being a beer expert she’s also a collector of sorts. Over the last twenty-five years she’s religiously saved bottle caps from every type of beer she’s ever tasted.  We ended up with a garbage bag filled with hundreds of beer memories (bottle caps) but had no idea what to do with them. 

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It’s funny how things fall together at times. Just as I was cutting our ties with the Dish Network by removing their equipment from the side of our house, I had a revelation.  I took the dish and all of it’s component parts, reconstructed them into a sort of interesting but weird side table.

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As I was working on the table I looked over to the corner of the workshop and saw the bag of bottle caps.  It was then I decided to use the colorful and interesting bottle caps to create a mosaic top for my Dish Network Memorial Table. What better gift for a beer connoisseur than a one-of-a-kind table for her to sit her beer on.

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I used a floor-leveler compound to flatten out the dish interior a little and then got to work on the mosaic top. The wide range of bottle cap colors surprised me a bit but made the job much easier.

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Two coats of high gloss paint will make it pretty and mounting it  on a wooded base will keep it sturdy enough for everyday use.  Then it’s adhesive, bottle cap placement, and a decorative grout.  I’ll post my future progress  (if I have any) and hopefully this thing will be finished in time for the birthday celebration.

06-23-2015 Journal–Rainy Day Trip!   Leave a comment

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As I roll out of bed this morning it’s done with the beginnings of a mediocre and annoying hangover.  It all started with the arrival of my nephew from Dallas at midnight last night.  Unlike my better-half and me, his air travel from Texas went as well as could be expected and he arrived on time with all of his luggage (miracle of miracles). 

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We arrived home where he desperately needed food and drink and some time to relax. We finally made it to bed around 2:30 am after being finished off by a large bottle of really excellent Sangria.  Boy is my head throbbing this morning.

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Our plans for today, if the weather cooperates, include a touristy trip along the coast to Portland Head Light (Lighthouse) at the entrance to Portland Harbor. We cruised through a number of towns on the way including Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, and South Portland. The weather was a huge pain like always but we muddled through.

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Later this evening with my better-half in tow we’ll be off once again for a night of excellent food and drink at one of Portland’s best pubs, The Great Lost Bear.  Hundreds of beers on tap and the super hot chicken wings that could possible set your hair on fire.  A perfect time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the interesting atmosphere and even more interesting people.

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‘One Lone Lobsterman’

The rest of the week should be fun if the weather cooperates. Later in the week we have a deep sea fishing trip scheduled and a few hours on the water chasing and catching a few fish will cap off his visit.

04-24-2015 Journal – Rain, Fire, and a Turkey   Leave a comment

My readjustment to this warmer weather continues.  Last week was interesting and started with the flooding of my backyard.  This isn’t unusual and happens quite often in the Spring but luckily the drainage for the property is excellent. There have been times when the water would be four feet deep but once the rain stops it drains away within 15 minutes.

Part of that flooding included my burn pit which I’ve been planning to use to rid myself of the Winters accumulation of scrap wood and saw dust. I also had a pile of lumber that was pulled from the garden frames last week and replaced. I had it drying out for a few days so it would burn properly once I threw it into the fire.

I decided to start the fire in the wet pit anyway figuring the heat would dry it out within minutes.  A little newspaper and a quart of gasoline can get damn near anything burning as you can plainly see.

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It’s always a good idea to burn when things are wet after a rain.  It eliminates the possibility of starting a fire that could get into the forest next to the property. It also keeps the town from giving me grief about burning permits which I tend to ignore whenever possible.

My frustration with my lawn tractor continues.  I’ve read everything I can find online about the mower, watched every YouTube video, and if anything I’m more confused than before.  I’ll be visiting Lowe’s today for some expert help from their Lawn and Garden professional.  He’s going to walk me through the steps that will hopefully help me get this damn thing running again.  We shall see.

I’m still in bed as I write this post but was awakened in an interesting fashion earlier this morning. I was lying in bed in that La-La Land of half sleep deciding whether to get up  or not.  It was then I heard a very loud "Gobble . . . Gobble . . . Gobble" just outside my window. I stumbled over and there he was, a big fat tom-turkey doing his very best to wake up the entire house. Here in Maine that’s the next best thing to an alarm clock.

I rushed from the bedroom to find my camera but unfortunately he was gone into the nearby woods before I could get a picture.  I’m sure he’ll return soon and I’ll snap a few at that time. Here’s a photo I took previously in the yard and I suppose there’s a chance it’s the same bird. It’s hard to tell, they all look alike to me.  He’d better not show up around Thanksgiving because he’d be in big trouble.

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Well, I’m off to Lowe’s.  That should get my frustration level up there where it belongs.  I sure hope this guy can help.

04-22-2015 Journal – Rain, Mud & Gardening   Leave a comment

Mud and rain! Is mud and rain actually any better than snow and ice? I’m beginning to believe there’s no damn difference. They’re both annoying and require special clothing; parka and gloves v. raincoat and galoshes.

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It’s nice to see that the ice and snow are completely gone but the reason is this steady rain we’re dealing with now and for the next two weeks. That’s assuming the weather forecasters are correct and of course they never get it wrong.  

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I had a lot of plans for garden preparation this week and I refuse to be confounded by this weather.  Although my luck hasn’t been all that good so far this Spring.  My lawn tractor remains idle because I can’t find someone to repair it without forcing me to take out a mortgage.  This little bit of minor repair work will cost me almost half of what I originally paid for the damn thing. It’s getting bad when a lawn tractor becomes a disposable item.

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Last week I ordered a pallet of dirt from Lowe’s and of course it was delivered today during the rain storm. Fortunately it was 75 bags of palletized dirt which was at least somewhat waterproof.  My garden frames needed some replenishment since I updated portions of them and made them a few inches deeper. 

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After checking the forecast for the next few weeks I was forced into getting busy immediately to add that new dirt to the garden.  I removed the bags from the pallet and threw the required number into those frames that needed filling.  It was an absolute mess.  It rained off and on the entire time and turned the yard into a bog. 

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I slogged my way through the wet and mud for a couple of hours and managed to get the dirt where it needed to be.  At the end of the day I was exhausted, muddy, chilled, and really wet. After some cleanup and a lot of raking the job was completed and I immediately hit the showers. 

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Stage-1 of the garden prep was rebuilding the frames and Step-2 was refilling those frames.  Next comes Step-3 where I rototill the soil to loosen it up and then place garden fabric over the dirt to eliminate those god awful weeds that make gardening suck. Step-4 is the installation of the sprinkler system which is really a necessity. Step-5 is the purchase, planting, and fertilizing of the plants.  After that it’s time to sit back and watch things grow until late summer when Step-6 begins. Step-6 is harvesting the crop, Step-7 is canning, and Step-8 is cleaning out the frames once again and composting the soil in preparation for next year. 

Who said gardening wasn’t fun.