When it rains it pours

This is especially true during storm season.1

I’m trying to keep myself honest and post a little more frequently, so even though we have made virtually no progress on the house in the past several months I’m still going to waste a few minutes of everyone’s quarantine time and publish a post.

The excuse I’m using this month is “stuff” — it rained (a LOT), stormed (a LOT), we all worked (a LOT), my trusty old Toyota broke2, and all of my extra-curriculars (which I carefully planned and timed out back in December to not overlap) started (or resumed) the same week in early August.

Gir perfectly captures the August 2020 mood. She should be a model.

But let’s start with the rain. Tropical Storm Isaias seemed to hone in on and target Dutchess County, Putnum, and Westchester counties – and boy did it pack a wollop. Oddly, this 4 day stretch without power was probably our most productive days of the month. We were all forced outside a good bit more, the post-storm weather was wonderful (not too hot, not too humid), and (once we bought an overpriced generator from a neighboring county) we did not have to stress about my emergency supply of ice cream melting.

There were ~3 more heavy thunderstorms between Isaias on August 4th and our Tornado warnings on the 27th, with what felt like very few rain-free days in between.3 Our little corner of Dutchess County apparently got significantly more rain than is average this month (and it still barely made a dent in the drought of June!), so any hopes we had of outdoor painting (or porch-ripping-down) were pretty much washed away with the downpours.

Maybe September will be more outdoor-task-friendly.

I estimated as to our actual location – seems about right.
I guess our rainfall totals weren’t quite as crazy as other parts of the state, but it felt bonkers all month.

So what did we get done on the house during the deluge of rain and external obligations? In short, nothing much.

In long, I managed to throw a few shovels full of sand on top of the septic pipe4, remove and straighten out some bent (but beautiful) hinges, measure for and mark the drywall for another attic cubby5, and Sergiu scraped and painted some stuff, and extended the goat fence to include a lot of delicious thorns and brush.

I also successfully made two different types of pie in my little countertop toaster oven6, failed at making fudge7, failed at making ice cream8, dug up some amazingly delicious potatoes, and Elliot, Bridgette, and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast outside the house.

The month was largely focused on non-house stuff – this included both good stuff (pie) and bad stuff (broken car), but there was a lot of it and it was all pretty much unanticipated for August.

1 My great ability to state the obvious is apparent.
2 So, technically it only broke ‘a little’ -4 or 5 inches of broken metal. But this small break was in a pretty crucial component and resulted in us having to say goodbye to our t/rusty old friend. We donated it to a non profit so it could continue providing help to others – as it had helped us for 13 years (and some other unknown person/s for 8 years before that!)

3 My poor solar panels have had so little to do this month! I am not looking forward to my next electric bill — even with the 4 days of zero usage, courtesy of Isaias!

4 Today – did this today; August 31st, just to have something to add to the accomplished list.
5 Westley has a “secret room”, so of course Oberon needs one too….
6 The first one we tried actually exploded – the oven, not the pie – so we upgraded to a KitchenAid — a few more bells and whistles than I need/like, but overall I’m super impressed with it. It makes pie, pizza, lasagna, baked potatoes, toast (slowly), and everything else we have tried so far!
7 It was a delicious failure, but an absolute and utter failure.
8 This failure was less delicious than the fudge, but Obi likes it. I got a little mini ice cream maker (which someone who shall remain nameless tried to lick and quickly learned the lesson “don’t lick cold metal”) and I made the first batch without heavy cream, and also put the ingredients in wrong — and a few other human errors, so the proper review of the ice cream maker itself will have to wait until after I fail try again.

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