The storm rolled in while we were in town for a late afternoon hardware store / grocery run. 4-wheel slip-n-slide back up to the house. In a lull the next morning I put in this new gutter drainpipe. The house and I came to a modified agreement of how this might be possible, still needs adjusting, but the rain soaked me off the ladder.

Nora gets me up at 3am and I dozily take her outside for piddles. There is a little lightning from a far valley over the high hills. Nora is terrified of thunder and has had a rough time during the days of storm- her Thundershirt has taken the edge off, but when the lightning thunders she shakes so hard her teeth chatter. I sleepily wonder if she awoke me because of the storm when a flash blinds the night, and Nora manically races a tight circle around my feet. The thunderclap sends her like a shot out into the night, straight toward the forest, and untold miles of nowhere. I run to the house for my headlamp, and call for her swinging the dim beacon into the rainy ink. I jump back inside and grab the truck keys, jumbling the key fob to chirp the locks: she loves the truck and always races to it when it chirps. I can feel the next lightning bolt building in a dead pressure, and Nora flashes out of the wet night appearing at the door and bolts inside. There is a large metal roofing panel affixed to the house outside the door, where my dad’s dog frantically ate away the house panelling in a mad terror during a pounding storm; and that dog wasn’t afraid of storms.


Grass seed for the new berm before the rain really soaks us.


Porch fix is my rainy day outside project. I rebuilt the floor and ceiling of the porch back in 2008 while I was helping my dad through chemo. The brittle synthetic quarter-round trim I’d dressed it with didn’t make it through one winter, and has bugged me since. I backfilled all the gaps with expanding foam and/or silicon caulk, put in all the new quarter-round and caulked the seams. The porch beehive is empty, save for a bumblebee who flies in and out even in a heavy downpour.


The Kennedy Rocker I restored last fall keeps me company while I pop off all remaining old trim and finish nails. I get it all done just after dark, and finish by the glow of the old yellow porch light.


Morning is misted and still. And soaking wet.


The woods fade gently into the clouds.


The lilacs are weighed down with rain, and have stalled their bloom.


E & Nora escape the house during a break in the rain.


I work between the raindrops to move a bed of lilacs I’d temporarily planted in a fairy-ring in the grass of the back yard two seasons ago, mixing with iris split from the front corner.


Expanding the bed pulled out these border stones (added just a few years ago), so I reset them as a decorative border to help with the roof runoff.


I split open old salt feed bags to block off the new bed ’til we return in July. 


Look up at the ceiling for a view of the new quarter-round and fixed seams of the ceiling panel. The blue bench was another yard sale resurrection from last fall.


After a few more bouts of rain E places newspaper around all the newly split Iris along the corner and I gather and spread pine needles/cones as mulch. We also weed and bailer-band-line the big garden out in the yard- we’ll move many volunteer poppies from the back yard there in July (they are just about to bloom now).


I place old roofing tiles at the foot of the retaining wall as weed barrier.


The little waterfall we added to the creek at the footbridge is churning away with high rain water.


So many wet greens- the rain pressed down the high grasses on the steep hillside.


I used the pick-axe to needle around and find most of the remaining sandstone deposited along the creek from years back. I moved them up to cover the roofing tiles and define the iris bed.


Next I cut open and lay out a big tyvek grain bag found in the old machine garage.


Then stake it in place. This area has issues with stinging nettle, wild carrot, sows ears, and every other kind of weed.


The storm breaks apart in the later evening, and we have a cotton-candy sunset. Tomorrow is the cattle-drive. 


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