Elder Brother, about whom I've blogged most recently in Tampa Bay Area, Florida and Good news/Bad news, paid us a visit over the weekend. As always, the whole Wichita gang was pleased to see him. Hunky Husband, in particular I think, enjoyed making fun of conversations between EB and me. For instance: HH came upstairs from his den just in time to hear EB say something about amines. Knowing that my understanding of chemistry is minimal, HH couldn't figure out how I had been led into such a discussion by EB (who started his professional career as a chemist). This triggered an explanation that might well be a chapter in my new book, "Oh, the Conversations You'll Have!"
The discussion followed this path:
Subject 1: I told EB about a comforter that our grandmother had made from her wedding clothes (photo, above) - circa 1908-1916 - which fell into my hands in about 1993 (see Grandmother Hall's comforter - plus a turkey photo). Because I had washed the comforter before storing it, I had caused the dark colors to bleed into the light and the (cotton) batting to clump between the ties (see photo for ties). Thus, eventually, I deconstructed the comforter and made two smaller quilts* from it, one each of which I gave to each of our daughters (Bogie, of Bogieblog, & Dudette). One of the quilts is shown in the photo, below, wherein you may observe that most of the dye bleed was removed by subsequent washing.
Subject 2: I told EB that I had conjectured that one of the fabrics used was rayon which I had been surprised to find (Google is wonderful!) indeed, had been available for clothing by the 1908-1916 time period. I had thought that rayon had come into use in the 1930s.
Subject 3: EB told me that I had probably been thinking of nylon which, indeed, came into use in the 1930s - which I full-well knew. From there, EB was off and running telling me about the structure of Nylon 6, 6.
Subject 4: EB rambled into a period in which his chemistry class in high school had used nylon hosiery for some experiment or the other - which led him into lecturing me on carbon chains and amines.
As you can see, there was nothing strange about the conversation EB and I were having when HH arrived on the scene. He just hadn't been present to hear the development!
*According to Buffy (of Arrrgh!!!) who led me into quilting, a covering is not a quilt unless it is quilted - that is - unless the layers of the covering are held together by stitching. A covering that is held together by tying is a comforter. (I hope Buffy will forgive me if I have it all wrong!)
As you well know, we've been subjected to six or seven "flash floods" this summer, among them a couple that were higher than we'd previously experienced on this property. FYI: Every cubic foot of ground within miles of us, is completely saturated from all of the rain that has so far graced us, this year - AND -we're expecting another flash flood later today. Flash flooding plus 2.5" to 5" hail plus 75 miles/hour winds is our forecast in which the weather people say they have high confidence! [Credit my own, personal weather guy (Hunky Husband) for getting the latest to me!]
Before we get inundated, again, and before my cleanup work gets undone, I thought I would brag about some of the progress I've made in the past several days.
The first two photos show the major/minor flotsam that was deposited at the boundary zone between our back lawn and the woods.
This photo (below) shows the boundary zone as it appears this morning - following my cleanup efforts.
Just within the woods is a rather clear space in which we buried our last two cats (graves marked by upright concrete monoliths). The next photo (below) shows that area before cleanup. The next photo shows that area following my cleanup efforts. Note that the log in the background of the second photo is just beyond our property line.
As a result of the various flash flood events, we were left with five major piles of flotsam in the boundary zone between the grassland on our property and the woods on our property. As of this morning, I have finished my cleanup efforts on the two piles nearest the house. Below are photos of the larger of the two. The first two photos (below) show the pile in early July and late September. It hadn't really changed a whole lot.
The photo, below is a view of the area that is into the woods from the pile in the above two photos. Originally, I had formed a brush pile in that area of which most had been swept away in the flooding. This is the area in which I "rebuilt" a brush pile from the flotsam in the large pile - plus from the area surrounding my brush pile.
This photo (below) shows a broadside view of the flotsam pile as it appeared in early July.
The last two photos (below) show the area of the flotsam pile as "cleaned up" to rebuild my brush pile, and the brush pile, itself.
To give you an idea of scale: the brush pile is at least two feet taller than my height (5' 5"). Fortunately, Archimedes and I are old pals, so I was able to move logs that weighed much more than my weight (classified info) and the lengths of which extended several times my previously mentioned height. I should tell you that Hunky Husband is more than willing to help; but, I take it as a challenge to avoid interrupting whatever he may be doing!
Herewith are a few more photos from our recent trip to New Hampshire, starting with the horse show on 9/5/2016. I failed to take my camera into the arena, so used HH's phone to take a couple of photos of him and Bogie (one of which was previously posted) and one of the arena before the show began. I didn't want to do anything distracting (to the horses or to me!) during the performance, itself.
On our way from St Louis to Kansas City, Missouri, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset. These photos don't do it justice, of course!
Bogie posted Biker Chick and her Parents with photos of her and her Harley, including her dad (my Hunky Husband, of course!) and me. I promised her to post at least one more "Biker Chick" photo that is one of my favorites. This is it, below.
Later, I caught photos of Bogie and HH - as we were wandering about town before lunch and then the horse show - that I think did not get downloaded to Bogie's hard drive.
Finally, another shot of water as it was receding from its peak just 12-14 hours after our arrival home. This is about as much as the creek water receded until about 48 hours later - after peaking, again. (You may be able to see the yellow flag with which HH had marked the highest water level that he saw - straight out, beyond the patio, from the steps.
When he isn't quite so busy, I'll ask HH to download the photos from our trip that are on his phone.
For the past 10 days, Hunky Husband and I have been taking a little road trip to New Hampshire to visit Bogie for the first time since 2004. Bogie has posted about our activities during our stay at 90% Doneand Lipizzaner Stallions In Goffstown, NH. I'll write a bit about the past 24 hours during which we saw HH's sister in St Louis, drove home, and returned to more flooding. The last 100 miles of our trip was (off and on) made tough driving by heavy rainfall. The minimum speed on the Kansas Turnpike, on which we traveled from Emporia KS to Wichita KS, is 40 mph. At times, visibility was too poor for HH to maintain even that low speed. We drove with the emergency flashers blinking. We dared not pull off on the side. There have been numerous reports over the years of people who did that on the Turnpike only to have someone plow into the rear of their car. Not a good thing.
By 1:00am, today, we were safely home and experiencing a moderate rainfall. We collapsed into our beds. After arising a couple of times during the night, I arose for good at about 8:30am. By then, HH had marked the highest flooding of our backyard that he had witnessed and it was obvious that the water was receding. Good news. Well...normally...the water totally recedes back to the creek's bed within 6-12 hours. Not this time. The creek water is still out of banks. We have been told that the water (of the Arkansas river into which our creek flows about 2 miles downstream from us) is still rising. This is not good - especially as we are expecting more rain, tonight.
As of 1:30pm (three hours ago), Sedgwick County (all of Wichita, Derby, and several other small cities - plus about half of Mulvane - are within Sedgwick County) declared a state of emergency. Had I not been on travel for the past 10 days, I would have been asked to report to the Sedgwick County Emergency Operations Center; but, fortunately, that task falls to another, this time.
With the river as high as it is, I must admit to being a bit nervous as to the outcome in the next 24-48 hours. Well...we keep saying that, as long as the people come out OK, the rest is just stuff!
Until I can download a bunch of photos that I took, on travel, this photo of Bogie and her dad (my HH, of course!) will have to suffice.
We've just had our third (or, Tonya tells me it's our fourth) flood for the year - nothing at all like what Louisiana is going through, but we are not at sea level. Eight inches of rain in three hours is 'way too much. No photos since I'm not set up for night photography. The flooding crested just after midnight at approximately the same level as the July 3rd flooding. Jason had planned to come retrieve his logs this weekend; and, now there are more - including planking from further upstream where some remodeling is going on. Whew!
Our drainage easement is rapidly becoming a settling ground for all sorts of flotsam. At this rate, we shan't have any grassland left in another year or two. We don't get dried out enough between flood events to get the debris cleaned out of the drainage easement between deposits. Fortunately, the non-drainage easement part of our back yard does get dry enough for me to clear away anything that I am strong enough to handle.
For the past couple of months we've been coordinating with the home owner's association (HOA), identifying a contractor with whom to work, and trying to get the weather to cooperate in order to have the roofing materials replaced on our house. (Some of the process was addressed on June 12, 2016, as Another hectic week has gone by.)
At the time we built (1999), the covenant required that roofing in our HOA be wooden shake shingles. I fought it, at the time, because I consider such roofing to be a fire hazard; but, it wasn't until a couple of years after we moved in when the State of Kansas passed a law saying that homeowners could not be required to use wooden shake shingles. Yay! Since the roof has shown minor leakage over the past 15 months, we had a good incentive to get the roofing replaced. Yesterday, the new composition shingles were delivered - most of which were pre-positioned on the roof. Here's a photo of how the house looked last evening (most of the new shingles are on the back side of the house, out of range from the camera's point-of-view.) The second photo shows our cars, removed from the garage for the convenience of the roofers who would show up at 6:00am, today, and parked at a safe distance from the house.
By 8:30am, today, this is the progress the roofers had made. You may be able to see a white rectangle in the center of the front door in the photo on the left (below). That is the city permit for the work.
Those roofers are really going to earn their pay on this job. We've been having high temperatures and high humidity all summer, with extreme heat/humidity warnings from the National Weather Service for all of this past week. It is forecast to reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit, today, and about the same, tomorrow.
Photos for the rest of the process may be found at CC's Com Site.
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/aviation/article90144877.html#storylink=cpy
Please note that once the main video has been run, three additional videos (takeoff/landing, chat with crew, and first start of engine number 4 before it was installed into the airframe) are available by clicking on them.
For my volunteer work, I've been engaged in cleaning up sloppy data gathering and encouraging others to input data into their own (computer database) accounts, taking training to qualify them for what they say they are qualified to do, updating the medical form that they presented more than five years ago (or submitting one for the first time), providing email, cell phone, and/or driver's license info, etc. We (another volunteer and I) are reviewing only those who are identified as disaster responders - not those who work with blood donations or other departments. In four weeks, I put in 177 hours on the project (and, yes, there were additional hours put in on other projects). One week ago, I called a halt to my efforts. We started with 800 disaster responders (in Kansas, Nebraska, and SW Iowa) and, by the time I called a halt to it, had whittled the number of disaster responders down to about 530 - dropping by the wayside those who did not qualify or who no longer are active. It was well that I called a halt because Hunky Husband was about to dump a load on my plate.
For the month of June, the Disaster Response Management Team that HH leads (there are three such teams covering a 12-state area) is on standby - to provide leadership should a major disaster occur within the 12-state area. Last Monday, he was told to put his team on alert - that, at least part of the team might be deployed to work the flooding & tornadoes in Texas (oh, joy!) While I was working at the office on Tuesday, HH called to let me know that his team was no longer on alert (good news!) Then, late that afternoon, HH received another call asking him to catch a flight to Houston! I ran him to the airport the next morning.
But, wait...before we left for the airport, we noticed that the sprinkler system was still running. Since we have it start at 3:00am, it should be completed by about 6:15am...and it was 8:00am when we left the house. Yes, the darned system was still cycling through the stations when I returned from the airport. I turned the system off and, seeing nothing wrong with the way HH had set it up, called our landscaping people. They couldn't get out to look at it until tomorrow morning. That's OK. It just means that I must remember to run the system manually on the days the grass needs watering.
Let's see...what else falls to me when HH leaves town? Well...he had, for about a year, been working on getting someone to replace the shingles. He had finally gotten serious about it when the flooding we had was attended by a third leak of water through the ceiling (we had found evidence of the first leak one year ago.)
I left voice mails to two of the officers in our Homeowners' Association (HOA) to assure that I knew what they needed from me in order to approve what we planned to do. As it turned out, one was out of town (but, within the USA) while the other is in Europe. The in-USA guy dropped by this evening, went through the proposal from the roofing company with me, looked at the sample shingles that I had had the roofing guy bring by, and signed the approval form. He will scan and email the form to the woman in Europe and she will sign and return it to him for scanning and emailing to me. What would we do without electrons?
At any rate, I plan to call the roofer, tomorrow, and have him draw up the contract so that we can get started. The old shingles are wooden shake shingles, but (now that the State of Kansas has passed a law that HOAs may not require wooden shingles) the replacement shingles will be composition.
The graphic, above, shows the color that will be installed - Driftwood. It's very close to what all of the neighbors have had installed. (I think there is only one house, among the 300 in our HOA, that still has wooden shake shingles.) The HOA rules call for installing "Weathered Wood" color shingles; but, most companies don't have such a critter. Originally, when the law passed (about three years after we built - too late for us, much to my chagrin) the HOA specified that one or the other of two specific shingles must be used; but, I think both companies went out of business!
Other than that, I've been privileged with doing the jobs that HH normally does around the house (makes me appreciate him even more!) - mowing (every fourth day), washing & ironing, and gathering in the newspaper and the US Mail (which I remember to do about every 2nd day).
On May 15th, I posted this photo (below) showing part of our Gung-Ho Neighbor'syard and part of our back yard.
(At this point I took a 10-minute break to observe a power drop-out.)
Just eight days later, this (below) is the view.
And a little closer up....
The next day (the 24th) the water was down - not to its normal level, but well within the normal creek banks. Then, last night, we received another 3.5 inches of rain. Up the creek rose. It didn't get quite as high as it had risen Monday.
At about 2:00am, today, I turned on the front porch light - and immediately turned it off, again. Two barn swallows were roosting on the arch above the front of the porch - where they used to nest each spring. That explains the pattern of poop that I have observed for the past week or two on the porch floor - not where the house finches are nesting (and they don't poop on the floor, anyway!)
There were several tornadoes out around Dodge City last night and this early morning. Fortunately, they concentrated on rural lands.