A Cold, Wet, Nasty (Productive) Day

Let us all stop and be grateful for weather forecasting. Despite the constant drone of criticism about their inaccuracy, today’s weather predictions are surprisingly good. Including yesterday.


The prediction was for cold and rainy. All day, overnight, and into this morning. But we had a brief dry interval in the morning before the storms set in. So Amanda and I geared our plans accordingly.

The sweet basil and the African blue basil have both reluctantly surrendered to the season, so Amanda took time right after emptying the compost to collect the dried leaves and blossoms. She ended up with 1 1/2 small plastic bags of basil. It may not take care of us through the winter, but it will help.

While she was in the garden, I collected several artifacts of our construction project that we had decided we wouldn’t need for awhile, like extra flooring, conduit, grout, and tiles, as well as a few things we may not need at all but are not yet willing to donate, like an extra utility sink, and moved them to the outdoor work area of the pole barn (well protected from the rain).

As we ate breakfast, we heard the rain start. One of the interesting things about living in a pole barn is that you’re never in doubt about whether it’s raining. If the drops start hitting 5,000 sq. ft. of metal roof, you know it right away.

We knew we needed to go to town, so we put that next on the list. First stop was Parker Tire, so Amanda could pick up her car with four new tires on it. That allowed us to divide and conquer. She bought groceries at The Pig while I shopped for toggle bolts and insulation at True Value and made stops at the Post Office and CVS. Then back home for both of us; the timing worked out almost exactly, so we drove through the gate at the same time.

By now, it was raining in earnest. Amanda busied herself getting some of those many boxes and bins unpacked and placed and generally preparing for the holidays, and she also worked on our Christmas cards.

I cranked up Tractor, loaded up a pallet with some of those items to be stored, and carefully lifted the pallet into position so I could reach it from above the apartment. We were careful to create a space above the apartment that is large, flat, and dry. There’s not a lot of head room, but you can reach all of it if you’re willing to get on your hands and knees. Slowly and carefully, I moved all those items we don’t expect to need for a while up to that overhead storage space, tucking them out of the way so we can store other items there later.

After I had finished that work, I moved the rest of the firewood from pallet #2 to pallet #3 and replaced #2 with #3. Pallet #3 is now heaping with firewood, but it’s in position and will see us through the holidays, and we now have two pallets that are ready to be reinforced and refilled.

By now it was lunchtime, so we fixed sandwiches and watched “Lost” on Netflix. My bride loves this show, and we needed a refresher so we won’t be clueless when the sixth and final season starts in February. While I napped, she worked on the photos for our Christmas card. No, that’s the wrong way to say that. I should say that while I napped she cussed silently. Then when I woke up she cussed vocally. She was struggling with an extremely balky Costco web site that seemed calculated to string her along as she set up the card and then let her down repeatedly with some quirk that made the card unusable. While she dealt with that, she also trekked back and forth to the storage room where we have stationed our washer and dryer. In addition to everything else, yesterday was laundry day.

Later that day, I installed our toothbrush holders, towel bar, and shelves in the bathroom. They may not be ready for Southern Living, but they’re functional and useful, and most importantly, they meet Amanda’s approval.

Last night we had a wonderful supper by the wood stove: all vegetables. And we were grateful for a dry, warm, place to rest after a genuinely good day. As I write this on Sunday morning, there’s a brief break in the rain, but the forecast calls for 100% chance until mid-morning. It’s good to be inside.

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