Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Blessing and a Curse

Even though we're in the third full week of August, normally a very hot, dry time for Western Washington, we're experiencing our second really rainy day in a row. (Tomorrow's supposed to be rainy, too.) The rain brings with it some relief for my parched mind, with cooler temperatures making me feel physically more comfortable (I about keel over if the heat exceeds 73 or so), and the moisture easing my (probably unfounded) worries of the pasture spontaneously combusting, catching our ramshackle barn and hay on fire, and eventually leading to a full-fledged yard/garden/house fire. I was peeking at some photos the other day and was so enamored of the lush greenness of our early-summer pasture I didn't think it possible that same pasture (and everything around it, really) could turn such a mean, brittle shade of yellow. Even our many verdant apple trees have started to look a bit parched.

The rain brings with it some challenges I'd forgotten about, too:

  • Leaky barn roof means wet chickens, possible damp hay and fat old raindrops falling on my head and down my shirt when I attempt to work with said wet chickens and damp hay. Yuck. Thankfully Paul will be reroofing the barn with tin over the next couple of weeks with the help of some friends, so this challenge will be a thing of memory soon enough.

  • Rain on my hands - this is a personal issue. I loathe having my hands rained on. Always have. So I suck them into my sleeves in the worst of it. Look for me...the girl in the yellow rain jacket with a hood on and no hands. I'll probably be muttering to myself.

  • The cows are getting rained on. Actually, this doesn't appear to be a problem for them, just for me. This morning when I left for work, in a torrential downpour, I might add, Bridgit lay happily in the paddock chewing her cud. She probably slept there all night. In the rain. (Sheila was under cover in the barn stall, as usual. That's her favorite place, rain or shine.)

  • Oy. Rain = mud = muddy dog feet = either we towel and baby-wipe off 12 dog feet when we let the muts into the house at night, or we deal with muddy dog prints all over our (once) cream family room carpet and our pine kitchen floors. This wasn't a big deal back in Tacoma when we only had Honey at home, even though she came in and out of the house many times a day and I became a pro at the whole baby-wipes-for-dog-feet thing. Actually, we buy baby wipes by the case at Costco for soley this purpose. But three sets of dog feet is a chore, especially when two of the dogs are new to this whole wiping off thing and don't understand that when they're wet and muddy, they must sit and stay when they come inside until I get them clean and dry and tell them they can go. Kinda hard to hold a dog collar and towel off and wipe each dog paw in turn simultaneously. (One of the long-term solutions to this will be the replacement of the (once) cream carpet with hardwood or laminate flooring...but that won't happen for a while.)

Challenges aside, the late rain also reinforces the arrival of fall right around the corner, which as I said before makes me giddy. I'll be tired of the rain by February, but if it wants to rain from now until then and green up our grass and pasture and help our veggies thrive, I'm ok with that. I'll just work on keeping my dang hands dry.


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