Friday, December 29, 2006

And Then the Rains Came...

Today, we had some wild weather. This is normally a rainy season, but thunderstorms are not common. There is a low preasure system coming in very slowly from the west and it has caused significant instability in the atmosphere. This low preasure system has dropped two feet of snow on Colorado. As a result of this system, warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico has been pulled in over central Texas where it is colliding with the cold air rotating around the low. This caused severe thunderstorms with very strong winds and numerous small tornados.

I just went out and read the rain gauge. It looks like we got about three-quarters of an inch of rain. Some areas to the north of us got up to two inches, according to the weather report.

The forecasters say that this system should move out before morning. But yesterday, they said that it would be gone by this evening. Guess what? It is still here! I do not hold out a lot of hope for this system to be gone by morning.

I know, we need the rain. But we need them a little at a time, over a period of weeks. Not all at once, in just a few hours. The gentle rain will soak into the ground, where it will nurish the roots of plants. The heavy downpours will saturate the top one half inch to one inch and the rest will run off, taking valuable topsoil with it and will cause flash flooding. If the rain runs off, it does little to aleviate the drought.


Disaster for a Neighbor

Disaster has struck one of our neighbors. On Tuesday, the ambulance came to transport her to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. She had a miscarriage and was bleeding severely. This was to be her third child. Her other two children stayed with her parents while she, with her husband at her side, was in the hospital. Since she was released, the children have been staying with us for the last two days to give her a little time to recover. She is expected to recover fully and should be able to have more children in the future.

I wish her husband had called us, or another neighbor, to drive him to the hospital. Although he would deny it, I doubt he was in any emotional condition to be driving. As my defensive driving instructor taught, when you see an ambulance in a hurry, beware of the destraught relative driving recklessly trying to follow the ambulance. Many times, the ambulance can trigger the traffic lights to give it a short green light. At the very least, the cross traffic should stop for the ambulance. That relative following the ambulance may very well run red lights to try and keep up.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Christmas Present

It is Christmas Day. We have opened our gifts. Dinner is in the oven. Suddenly, there is a strange pickup truck at the main gate. He cannot get in because the gate is locked. What stranger would be stopping by on Christmas Day?

We walked down to the main gate.

Low and behold! It was a rancher from the county seat of a neighboring county. He dropped by to ask about our eight-month old puppies. He bought two for a new ranch he bought up in Colorado. He plans to move them and his goat herd up to the new ranch in a few weeks. What a Christmas suprise!

After we sold the puppies, my son and I took the football that he received for Christmas and tossed it around in the East Pasture. He is inisting on watching every college football "bowl game" that he possibly can. According to the newspaper, there are about thiry of them this year! Everythine from the brand-new "New Mexico Bowl" to the granddaddy of them all, the venerable "Rose Bowl." My wife and I would prefer to see him work on some academics during this vacation. We will probably use college football as a lever - if he does some academics, he gets to watch a game. The more academics he does, the more games he gets to watch. Controlling the television is easy - as a matter of policy, there is only one in the house! He cannot try to watch via the Internet, either. Although we have five computers set up and running, only one is connected to the Internet and that one is located in one of the "public rooms" where activities can be constantly monitored.

In addition to the usual clothing, I received a three book series from a fantasy author I enjoy. This trilogy is part of a much larger series of trilogies, quadrologies and quintologies involving the same characters on a lifetime of adventures.

My wife also got the usual - clothing, but also a DVD and a farming magazine. If she finds it interesting and useful, we will get her a subscription to it. My son also gave her his usual gift - a recipe collection. Usually it is cookbook, but this year it is a card file full of recipes. My daughter found a new and unique Monopoly game (yes, it IS by Parker Brohters) to add to her collection. She must have about a dozen, and maybe more, different versions!

Christmas Eve

The rain started yesterday afternoon. It has been drizzling off and on since they. Total rainfall - about one quarter of an inch. Last night, when we were feeding the new kids, for every ten rain drops, there was a snow flake. We have already cut the bottles back from two a day to one a day. Tomarrow, we plan to cut them off entirely. Most of there food is currently the pasture.

The Christmas tree is up and decorated. we actually got the tree finished BEFORE Christmas Eve! The traditional poppy-seed cake and Hungarian coffee cake are made. The Christmas pudding is cooling in the refrigerator. The ham and all of the other ingrediments for Christmas dinner are bought. Now, even the gifts are wrapped and under the tree. And believe it or not, it is still BEFORE midnight!

From our house to you, wherever you are, have a Merry Christmas!!! And, may Santa be good to you!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Again, Finally Some More Rain

Until the other day, the weather has been clear and sunny. Yesterday, we got about 1/2 inch of rain. Today, about another 1/8 of an inch. We are still really short on the rainfall for the year.

Finally, it looks like Christmas will come together without major difficulty. We actually got the Christmas letter written, the cards written and signed, and today, they actually went into the mail! We are not mailing them on Christmas eve!!

My wife bought four week-old kids. It looks like we will be bottle feeding them for the next week or os. The good news is that they are already nibbling on grass and leaves - anything that is green. She put them into the isolation combound with anohter kid and his mother and with a few real escape artists. Because we had been keeping Max in the isolation compound and not goats, the isolation compound is about the best pasture we have.