Kaitlin told us about the Jawbone UP when she was here. The bracelet records your activity and sleep, then the information can be downloaded and processed through a smartphone or iPad app.
By tonight Andy will have tried it for a week, then I’ll try it. It’s fun to look at the graphs, but they don’t really correspond to what he does. For instance, here’s his sleep graph for Monday evening:
It says he slept very well. That wasn’t his experience. He said it was raining and he kept thinking of the road, so he didn’t sleep well at all.
As it turns out, he needn’t have worried, Monday night at least. We had 1.2 inches of rain up on the land, and Beate had 3/4 of an inch, but she said it came down slowly and steadily. The road looked just fine. On the other hand, we had another rain down here last night, part of it a downpour, so who knows?
After today the rain is supposed to start petering out, which we don’t want either — picky, picky, picky! We don’t want heavy downpours, but we do want enough moisture to help the plants grow. Somehow they didn’t ask us, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
We hope your weather is to your liking.
July 16, 20014
There was a lot of excitement about the rain on the local news Sunday evening. Apparently so much came down in one place it left puddles all over town.
It reminded us of a newscast years ago about flooding. It showed one town where most of the population came out to see the creek about to overflow its banks. What excitement!
Yes, we do live in the dry Southwest. It’s quite a contrast to the Midwest. Last month Kaitlin sent this photo of their backyard.
When I showed it to Andy his first reaction was puzzlement. Why did she send it? Then he said, “Oh! They don’t have a pond, do they?” No, not unless it’s raining.
July 15, 2014
Kaitlin sent this picture of Sammy yesterday:
He looks comfortable and happy. I’m not so sure about the plants.
What about you? Have you been comfortable and/or happy lately?
July 13, 2014
Andy, Orlando, and Scott worked on the road today. (There are more pictures here.)
The road looked fine when they left, and we’re hoping for some good rains now to see if this last deluge was a fluke or if we need to upgrade the culvert system. As usual, we will let you know.
July 13, 2014
A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
I’m having a chance to hone my skills again. Do you remember the incident with the insurance company sending us a check? We had thought the case was closed — both the insurance company and provider had said the provider had been paid. Then we received another bill from the provider and a check from the insurance company. We weren’t about to cash the check, so after talking to the insurance company we signed it over to the provider so we would be out of the mess.
Or so we thought. Wednesday we received a letter from the insurance company saying they had overpaid, please send them a check for the overpayment. Needless to say, I’ve spent a few hours dealing with the insurance company trying to get it all resolved. I’ll spare you the details. I do have the names of two people who promise to follow through on it, and one of them is a supervisor. The adventure continues.
Have you had a chance to develop your skills lately?
July 12, 2014
Andy did the right thing in collecting the condensation from the refrigerator. He collected a whole pint overnight — who would have guessed?
July 11, 2014
Andy and Peter fixed the refrigerator, so it’s running on propane again instead of electricity. In the past occasional wind gusts blew out the pilot light, which meant a safety feature shut the refrigerator off. In the process of fixing the problem they noticed that water had dripped down the wall.
Apparently when the air is humid the propane-heated air rises and hits the cooler pipe above. The moisture then condenses and slowly drips down. Peter and Andy inserted a piece of silicone under the pipe so the water would drip away from the wall. Andy first caught the water in a pan under the refrigerator, but yesterday he added the funnel and some plastic tubing.
At the moment the water is collected in a jug in front of the refrigerator.
In the fullness of time he will connect the tubing to the drain pipe in the crawl space — through a small hole in the floor behind the refrigerator. It should be quiet and hidden.
Just another of the many details that need to be attended to.
July 10, 2014
Down here yesterday it was a heavenly rainy afternoon, and the three-quarters of an inch we had up there did more good than harm. Andy says the problem part of the road didn’t look much worse, and down in the canyon bottom the rain washed away a lot of the accumulated dirt and debris —- thanks to the work Andy, Beate and Tim did Saturday. After the rain that afternoon the stakes were completely buried in dirt and the entrances to the culverts were blocked with debris. This is what they looked like after Andy, Beate, and Tim finished.
So when it rained yesterday water could flow through the culverts again, washing away a lot of the dirt.
Some debris was accumulating, but Andy was able to stand on the bank and jiggle it with his hoe until it washed away.
While he was down there he saw some deer staring at him, so he took a picture.
All in all it was a great day. Yay, rain!
July 9, 2014
In the comment section yesterday I told Alan that we put stakes in front of the culvert entrances.
We think the problem this time is the stakes caught enough debris to build dams, closing off the culverts.
So why use the stakes? Because without them the culverts can get plugged with big rocks, which take a major effort to clean out. This picture was taken May 13, 2012.
This is the rock that was plugging the three-foot diameter culvert shown above.
Life is seldom simple.
July 8, 2014
Do you remember the roadwork we had done last October? It included digging a deep ditch by the side of the road. The idea was water pouring off the mountain would flow down the ditch to the entrance of the culverts under the road. The road would be protected.
Saturday’s micro-deluge filled the ditch with mud and rocks and buried the entrance to three of the culverts — water, rocks and mud ran down the road instead. Notice the ditch is gone.
X marks the spot where the entrance to one of the culverts is buried.
Andy, Beate and Tim moved the biggest rocks off the road, but you can see what a mess the water made.
The gully in the center of this picture is about a foot deep.
So, the rainy season has just begun but we already have to bring in heavy equipment. We don’t mind saying that makes us nervous. Wish us luck!
July 7, 2014