Monday, December 14, 2015

Very Interesting

Alert!  Deer Down!
Update on Mom: Last Friday I took her in for a follow-up with her doctor.  He really didn't have much to say; as I'd been told on the phone on Wednesday, the CT scan didn't reveal anything alarming and neither did her other lab tests.  He encouraged her to try to eat more small meals because she's losing weight, almost five pounds since this all started.  As it turns out, on Friday she wasn't having any stomach pain at all, which is good, but very puzzling. Today she was on again, off again with the same symptoms, so for now, we are in a holding pattern.  I thank you all for your concern and prayers. 

Now on to what's going on today:  Christmas preparations are certainly slow around here.  I don't remember a year when I've been further behind.   When I crawled out of bed this morning and looked out our bedroom window I was stunned to see a lake where our lawn used to be.  We had a lot of rain this past weekend and the ground is fully saturated; the creeks and ditches were up and flowing rapidly.

Across the road
Turning on the TV,  I wasn't surprised to see our area was under a flash flood watch.  We received almost four inches of rain, which if the calculations are correct, would have amounted to almost 40" of snow.  Don't get me wrong, I love skiing and snow would be great for the gardens and farm crops, but 40" of snow all at once would have been even too much for me.  (We don't have the snowblower on the tractor yet and the oil needs changing, too.)

Rain was pelting the puddles so there was no use in going outside to let the Girls out of the coop for awhile.  I decided to put an hour in on my rebounder, bouncing around with Leslie Sansone for four miles.  After my workout, the rain had eased up, so I grabbed the camera and headed outside.   The water had already begun to recede quite a bit while I was exercising, which was a good thing, every time we have high water it's a bit nerve-wracking.
Our 'lake'.
I let the hens out for the day and they happily scampered off to work.  I don't even remember how old most of them are any more but they are always busy.   I bet if I put a pedometer on one of them I'd be surprised by how much ground they cover in the course of a day. 

The water had already receded from the flower bed before I took these pictures.

I climbed up on the Pachyberm and surveyed the soggy situation.  Temperatures were in the 40's, nothing to complain about there, that's for sure.  

I can't get over how green the lawns are yet for this time of year, either.

Just an hour before, this area was totally under water.  The Girls were having a high old time looking for whatever it is chickens can find to eat this time of year.

The yard looks so forlorn; the Christmas decorations are sagging and so are my spirits somewhat.

I have to admit, this arrangement would look a whole lot more festive with snow for a backdrop.

I ambled my way to the backyard to see how the Quarry was faring with all the rain.  Oh boy, we've got water now.

The orange in the bottom left is our goldfish (flock? herd? school?)  The concrete turtle is in danger of going under if I don't get him out of there.  (I should have put him away sooner.)
Ice skating would be terrific if it freezes, it's not often we have this much water in the pond going into winter.

The Quarry pond wasn't the only area with high water this morning; the Formal Garden was a swamp, too.

I decided to finish setting up the last of the outdoor decorations since it was only misting out.  Carl spent long hours replacing light bulbs on my horse and deer decorations, something he does every year out of sheer stubborn thriftiness.  I do not have the patience to check every single bulb, my solution is to buy new lights on clearance at the end of the season and replace the sets as needed.  However, Carl doesn't share my flamboyance and tinkers with the lights every year.

I took the deer out to the Quarry and placed them up on the waterfall so we can see them from the house at night.  They will remain lit (hopefully, if Carl fixed them well enough) for the rest of the winter.  Being in the back yard they can't be seen from the road and won't look goofy after the holidays.  I like having light in the garden.

 Right after I plopped the two deer into position, it started to rain again, so I had to abandon the project.  When Carl came home from work this afternoon, I enlisted his help in getting the extension cords and final details in place.

Carl is not a big fan of Christmas decorating, but he puts up with it for my sake.  I'm always amazed at how he willingly goes along with my silly ideas.

Of course it never fails, right after we had the deer in place another set of lights went out again, so Carl had to fix them one more time and finished just before dark.

Hurray, lights at last!
Well, there were lights on one of the deer, anyway.  The doe didn't want to cooperate, so Carl had one more deer to work on.

Success at last.  Now if the wet weather doesn't cause a ground fault breaker to trip, we should be good to go.

The horses were in need of emergency light bulb surgery, too.  (I'm absolutely going to buy more lights on clearance this year, I need to!  Just don't tell Carl, ok?)  In the light of day everything looks rather dismal this time of year; see, that's what snow is good for, it covers up all the stuff you didn't finish in the fall.

Darkness helps a little, too.  Not much, but a little.
Everything is half-baked this year, when I plugged our yard light in, one of the bulbs is burned out.  I haven't purchased a replacement yet and may not get that done before Christmas, either. 

Hitting on two of three cylinders here; put a light bulb on the shopping list, would ya?

And speaking of shopping lists, I did most of my sad gift shopping online this year, starting on Sunday night.  Yes, this past Sunday, duh, how silly of me.  When I saw the anticipated delivery date of December 24th, I almost panicked.  (It will do no good to panic, and I already have enough stress, so I opted for calm acceptance of the fact my family and friends know what they're dealing with.  Me.)

In another bizarre twist of decorating madness, I talked Carl into helping me attach rope lights to the urn he made for me two years ago.  It was a long drawn-out process but surprisingly he didn't grump about it (too much).  To quote an annoying acquaintance of mine who will never say they like or dislike something, but instead when confronted with my attempts at decorating always (without fail) says, "Hmmmmmmm......that's Very Interesting."  

Light pole and 'Very Interesting' Urn

So that's IT for the outdoor decorations.  But wait, there's nothing done in the house.  One more time Carl to the rescue, let's see if we can find a Christmas tree in this wonderland of spruce and pine we call home.

Off we went to the Back Eight where a recent windstorm had blown the top out of one of the white pines.

I DO sew, truly, I do.  Apparently, I just let my husband run around in ratty old coats with the sleeves torn out.  Sigh.

In answer to the question, "Do you have a saw on you?" I handed Carl my trusty folding saw and he set to work cutting us a Christmas tree.

Um, yeah, that's a really big tree.  Too big,  And kind of spindly, especially by the time we cut it down to six feet to fit in our house.   We left this one out in the field, there must be a better candidate in the garden somewhere.

My solution was to take two limbs out of the bottom of a 25' tall Norway spruce.  (It was too dark to take pictures by then) and stick them in the Christmas tree stand lashed to a nice 6' tall cedar pole to keep them upright.  I always stick the Christmas tree in the corner by the railings anyway, so there's no point in buying a gorgeous tree off of a lot and then end up cutting half of it off anyway. 

 I'll post pictures of the Christmas Twig when it's decorated. 

Believe me, it's Very Interesting.

Oh, Christmas Twig, Oh Christmas Twig.........sing along, it's a catchy tune.


Alison said...

I enjoyed seeing your pictures of your Christmas decorating. I'm glad there are people out there who still do that kind of stuff. We don't, the tree we have is too big and requires moving furniture around, which is more work than I want to do. I'm a bit of a Grinch about Christmas, to be honest. Actually, I don't mind if others get into it, I just don't want to make the effort.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dearest Karen ~ I so love your happy spirit!

I'm glad nothing seriously wrong was found in your mother's tests. Bless her heart.

I enjoyed this post and look forward to seeing your Christmas Twig. :-)

Love, hugs & prayers and happy Christmas holidays ~ FlowerLady

Pamela Gordon said...

Oh my. That's a lot of rain and water laying on the land. Good for the wells though, we always say. I love the pond all filled with water and hope the fishes survive the eventual freezing ice over them. The lit deer reflecting look so pretty at night. Hopefully you'll get snow soon. We are in storm mode here with freezing rain and ice pellets and maybe a pile of snow before the day is over. It's nasty. Take care and I wish you a very happy and blessed Christmas!

Larry said...

I heard people north of here got considerably more rain... we had to inches and it has dissipated already.... Did you have around double that? I noticed Green Bay had over three inches.... Larry

Beth said...

Wow, you got a lot of rain! We got about 4" as well and some roads and parks were shut down along the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. Sorry your mom doesn't have any answers. So what if she is elderly, it's still the pits to not feel good! Praying for her and you too.
I enjoyed seeing your quarry pond and deer and horses. Lookin' good!
Hugs, Beth
p.s. I will never forget the kindness you showed when we visited your beautiful Quarry Gardens! Thank you!

Stephen Andrew said...

Insane how much rain you've had! Usually our weather is pretty close to yours, yours is just colder with more snow and more humidity in the summer! But we've had nowhere near that much. I'm not doing too well outside either. I have a long garland outside and there are four alternating strands that to out at various points and I just don't care that much! Hate this weather! Carl would be livid with me as I can rarely be bothered to keep lights year to year! Your outside is looking great! Just enjoy whatever bits of it you love! Sending my best to your mother!

Garden Fancy said...

Karen, You sure got a lot of rain! Now you have a "lakeside villa" -- perhaps it will add to your property value...?

I hope your mother starts feeling better soon, and that you all have enjoyable holidays together. Take care, -Beth

outlawgardener said...

Thanks for the morning laughs! I'll be singing "O Christmas Twig" all day! I think your decorated urn looks a little bit like a huge pomegranate - Love it! Sorry that your mom's condition continues to be a mystery and hope she gets better soon. Do you enjoy your new lakeside home?

Betsy said...

Gosh what a lot of rain you had. We had rain all day and the creek is running fast, nothing like yours though.
Those old deer have light problems no matter what. We have to mess with fixing ours every year. I wasn't going to tackle them this year as one has his head with no lights, steve went out and put multi on his head, the rest are white, oh well it works. He said to just call it art.

Mama had stomach problems for a year and was losing weight as food went right through her. We found out that she is lactose intolerant and now no milk in anything and she is so much better, even gained 10 pounds. It's the rest of us now that are falling apart.
Do put it in Gods hands as you are doing everything you can do and then some. We used to constantly worry about mom and we realize she is not worried about a thing. She is just fine. The rest of us were falling apart and that just can't happen, so we let it go.
I hope you are getting a good nights sleep because I just noticed it's 1:29 in the morning here.
Good morning to ya and off to bed I go.