It's nice to finally be catching up on things. The chickies have a new run attached to their coop...a bunch of things have been Taken Care Of...and I cleaned the freezer out. (What -- you don't dread defrosting the freezer?? Jimmy Hoffa could have been stashed in there, for all we knew.)
Colorado is on fire again. West of Fort Collins, the High Park fire is up to 20,000 acres -- and growing. One person has died, so far, and of course, a bunch of houses burned. It's so dry here. We dread summertime for the chance that a careless blaze will really torch the entire area. To make things even more interesting, both the New Mexico fires and the High Park fire have been contributing to smoky skies and air here. Makes it harder to breathe.
A few brave leaves are beginning to pop up from the garden, and the plants on the deck. Last week, our neck of the woods endured at least 6 inches of hail in nearly 2 hours of steady hail/rain. The Brick thinks we got closer to 9 inches. The windows were getting pounded so hard, I thought they would break. Thankfully, the dogs were inside, and the chickies well protected outside.
All I know is that roofs and vehicles up and down our street are in the process of being evaluated, and roof contractors are showing up on my doorstep for "free consultations." (Ironically, Castle Rock, less than two miles from us, was only hit on the northern side -- the rest of the town hardly got any rain, let alone hail.)
The garden had been beautiful -- the peas were knee-high and getting ready to bloom. The plants on the deck were in full roar, and our climbing rose plants were full of red and yellow petals.
Now a stray petal pokes up here and there, and the ground feels crunchy from dried greenery. The peach trees, which had more than a dozen fruits, now have two -- period. The three other fruit trees, planted only a few weeks ago, have one leaf. Period. Between them.
I am really hoping that they come back.
It could have been worse. Others around us had extensive flooding. (We just had a little.) Our neighbors had a ceiling cave in their family room, and were forced to throw out their basement carpet. Other friends had a baseball-sized chunk of hail smash their windshield -- at 65 mph on the highway. (Thankfully, they were ok.)
So we wait for the claims adjuster. (Of course, we had just changed our insurance company less than a week before this blessed event!) And I've cleaned up the wet things. I plant more beans -- and hope.
Meanwhile, here are some things I've bumbled across in the course of this week:
Martha Stewart's recipe for Dill Pickle Chips -- crisp and refreshing.
April Dykman, on what 'toxic friends' can do to you, emotionally and financially. (Family, too. Don't miss the comments -- they're even better than the post. Thanks, Get Rich Slowly.)
The transit of Venus across the sun -- it happened on the 6th. And we won't see it again...
Timothy Poe, America's Got Talent tryout -- submitted a photo of himself as a soldier in Afghanistan. Only...it wasn't him! Shades of Stolen Valor...
Speaking of huge cojones, the Salem, OR woman who claimed $3 million income via Turbo Tax...and got a $2 million-plus refund out of it. She managed to spend more than $150,000 before the IRS put two and two together, and arrested her for fraud. (Hmmm. Don't they DOUBLE-CHECK these things??) Her booking photo suggests she wasn't spending it on clothes...
I'll Have Another, the gutsy horse who won the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont, has been pulled from the third race, due to tendonitis. It's not sure whether he'll ever run again. (He's officially listed as retired.)
Small miracles that happen every day, courtesy of Poor to Rich A Day At a Time.
I'm a huge believer in these -- the Oriental rug from your friend's garage sale that just 'happens' be exactly the right size, color and design you needed. The high-end dress found at the thrift shop, just before a big party. (And it fits you like a glove.) I'm so grateful for these small, meaningful reminders that the Creator cares about us. Even when He doesn't have to.
There are moments like this, too -- small decisions that affect us for the rest of our lives. Ami Simms points this out clearly. (Well said, friend!)
Part Two on what's been happening around here tomorrow...and the next book giveaway. It's good to be back.