Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ups, Downs, Skunks, Rain, & Ducks

My Tech Break Sunday was pretty good. The weather was nice for the first time since, oh, September, so I spent the day outside working my butt off. I was sore and exhausted by sunset, but that's not a bad thing. Like I told Lori - I don't mind hard work; I just get frustrated by work that isn't productive. Luckily it was pretty productive. I moved a ton or two of hay, I started on a small pen, and I hauled some fencing materials from where they were to where they needed to be. And in the process e5 and I got to meet our newest barn resident - a skunk.

He was nesting in behind the hay bales, and since it was mid-day at that point, he was snoozing. I'm glad I didn't startle him. He seemed pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, which seems typical of the few skunks I've known. And so far his worst crime has been making the local barn cat - and our car - stink to high heaven. The cat and the skunk have had several encounters, and I'm not sure why the cat hasn't learned. Maybe a role-reversal from the Pepe Le Pew cartoons or something. The skunk hid under a wooden pallet, and Kiki was actually batting at the little tufts of skunk fur sticking up through the cracks. Anyway, apparently they must have had one confrontation near the back of our car because it's been skunky for a week. The good news is it's now very hard to forget where you parked it.

Things are going pretty well for us in general, but today was definitely not the best.

On the baby front, Lori found out that despite extensive countermeasures, her blood pressure is up and her hemoglobin is not. This defintely lowers the odds of a home birth. It may not sound like a big deal to most people, but it's become pretty important in our house, so it's been a discouraging and disappointing development. And tomorrow morning Lori gets to go to the O.B. to get pressured for various medical interventions.

We're also in the midst of the most significant flooding we've seen since moving here. Our driveway was nearly impassible, at least without oars. There was a good 100 yards of water almost up to the bottom of the car doors this morning, and it was hard to know if you were still on the driveway or veering out into the Mud of Doom. Our truck had to be pulled out of the Mud of Doom just yesterday, and then promptly towed to a service station. It entire exhaust system has fallen out, and it's starter seems to have gone bad.

Our big pond overflowed it's banks a bit and flooded the area in and around our barn (which was already pretty spongy from the snow melt). We're actually in better shape than our neighbors, who appear to have an actual river running through their barn at the moment.

I was surprised to see the chickens actually wading through the swamp, rather than hanging tight in the high and dry Chick Shalet. Our small pond (a.k.a. Crater Wetland) is usually dry or nearly so, but it's full to the brim and backing up the drainage ditch toward the house. I wonder how much longer our sump pump can keep draining water down that way. There's alternating rain and snow in the forecast for the foreseeable future, so it may get worse before it gets better. I'll try to take some pictures sometime soon.

And to top it all off, some things didn't go well at my job today, to the point that I'm writing this blog entry between work tasks. It's about 10:30pm, and I've been periodically pushing work buttons almost all night.

And nobody got enough sleep last night. So Grumpy is the order of the day.

But at least the red-winged blackbirds, the killdeer, and even one of those lovely hooded mergansers are starting to arrive, so Actual Spring must be close.

(Not my picture - Thanks ODNR!)

We should start hearing those beloved peepers before long!


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At 3/04/2008 11:39 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

Peepers .... Around here, we don't hear those guys until May. It smelled like spring here today, too, but there are still several feet of snow on the ground. We have four foot snow banks on either side of our road, but the warmer temperatures have melted the road ice, and opened up all of the craters dug out by a careless snowplow driver ;). We live on a dirt road, and so I can totally relate to the "Mud of Doom." The other night, someone lost an SUV in the crater at the mouth of the road (he got his SUV stuck in the pot hole and had to have someone pull him out :). Ah, Mud Season is nearly upon us ;). Peepers to follow in only a few weeks :).

I'm crossing my fingers for you guys. I had a homebirth with my last little one, and it was an incredible experience. I can really relate to how important it is for you.

At 3/05/2008 9:41 AM, Anonymous wasteweardaily said...

Hi E,
Just checkin in to see how you are doing. I wanted to suggest that since you are using hypnosis for the birth, that you also use it now to help control the blood pressure. It is worth a try. Hope all goes well.
Cindy in FL

At 3/07/2008 1:01 AM, Anonymous Melinda said...

I'm glad you had a productive day outside - I was totally sore the next day, too!

Shiver, shiver... I had a wonderfully mischievous dog who encountered a skunk and was coated at point blank range. Awful awful awful. We were cleaning walls, curtains, clothes, and our hair for weeks! And we had to get her professionally cleaned. No matter what we did, nothing got that smell out. Phew.

I hope you survive the floods ok.


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