Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Well, Hurricane Irene blew threw here leaving us only with a truckload of downed branches and toppled sunflowers.  Not bad considering the high winds and deluge of rain.  We slept in the basement on Saturday night as a result of tornado warnings and the fear of falling trees.  But thankfully, nothing bad happened to us or anybody we know, other than power outages.  We spent Sunday helping our friends who live along the Delaware River   pack up their first floor because the Delaware was expected to flood. Fortunately, it is rising, but the predicted 'crest stage' is lower than expected and they shouldn't have a problem. It was touch and go all day yesterday and we just decided that since they had a lot of help, to just pack it up anyway. They own a big trailer and we put everything that wasn't going onto the second floor into it. Since they've been flooded 3 times before, they really don’t have that much on the first floor, but you know, you still need stuff to live your life. The stuff in the garage had to be moved too but they have a loft and lots of stuff went up there.  Various vehicles were taken to friend's houses on higher ground.  They said that they feel like just buying plastic porch furniture for the downstairs so they never have to move furniture again!

We lost power for about 9 hours, but I had frozen Tupperware containers (a fraction of the stash from my mother-in-law :) ) and kept the frozen blocks of ice in the freezer and it kept everything cold. Everything was still frozen solid even after 9 hours. We have lots of branches down (but only 1 big limb), but that is it. No trees on top of the house.  Dodged the bullet once again. The only event that we had was last night. We were tired from working and went to bed. I kept hearing noise in our bathroom - the plastic cup was knocked over, and it sounded like someone was rummaging through stuff in there. I thought it was hubby roaming through the house and he thought it was me. But I went into the bathroom and quickly turned on the lights and there was a mouse or rat or something that ran across the tub and sat under the toilet. But it was weird because it was pretty big and it looked at me rather than scramble and hide. I closed the door and waited to hear it again. It sounded like it was pushing on the screen and I quickly opened the door and there it was sitting on the window sill. We saw that it was one of those little flying squirrels that we have around here (I've only seen one once before) and it was trying to get out of the screen. It jumped down and hid in my plastic plant (it probably was the only thing recognizable to a squirrel. Probably thought it was a tree!). Hubby took out the screen and we closed the door and put a blanket under it to be sure that it didn't squeeze under the door and get into our room. Then I said to Hubby that I wasn't sure that it would go out the second story window and he said "It's a f--- flying squirrel!". And he was right. It was glad to get out and so that was the extent of our storm excitement!  Maybe I should send the story to the weather channel so that they have something to report from this area!

The garden was blown around, but seems OK except for the sunflowers that were knocked over.  They were almost done their bloom anyway.  The tomato plants continue to be battered from the many storms that we’ve had this summer, but are still producing a few pathetic looking tomatoes.  I sowed some spinach and lettuce seeds last week and they are starting to poke up from the soil, that is, if they weren’t washed away by the storm!  I continue to pull out the spent bean plants and squash, put in some compost from the bin and seed with my fall plantings.  The pole beans oddly weren’t damaged by the storm and I continue to pick beans for our dinners.  I’ve designated one bed for my hoophouse and am working on having greens well established by the time it gets cold here.  I really think that this winter will be the last winter for my hoophouse since it has some tears, but four winters is darned good for 12 ml plastic I think.  I have some ideas for a new design although the PVC hoophouse has been pretty successful.   At this point, I am getting tired of tomatoes (never thought that that would be possible!), and beans.  I am looking forward to great fall salads from the garden.  Believe it or not, I think that I enjoy the winter garden more than the summer garden.  There is just something so cool about shoveling a path out to the garden and picking fresh, delicious greens when everything else is frozen.  Remind me of this when I am complaining about the bitter winter!!!

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