Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A lot of rain

We had eight inches of rain in January (and another inch so far this month) It was not quite one for the record books, but definitely on the wetter side of what we've come to expect here. I haven't lived here long enough that I really know what "normal" is, so I pretty much just take what comes and live it like it is normal. 

All I can really compare it to is where we came from, where there were more than a few years when we received eight inches of Like, for an entire YEAR. Being out in the country and on a well, I will say too much water is definitely better than not enough. We even had snow for a couple of days, which was heavenly to wake up to.

Big Ag and I were talking last night and joking about how sometimes we'd stop during those years in CA and say, "Hey, do you hear that? It's raining outside!" We'd literally stop doing everything, just for a moment, in order to hear that wonderful sound of rain on the roof and the water splashing against the windows and running down the downspouts. We'd go outside and smell the petrichor (wonderful word for a wonderful smell) as the water soaked into the parched ground. 

We stopped marveling at the rain about a month after moving here. Snow will get our attention though, as will bright sunshine during winter. But the other day it was raining so hard it sounded like someone was throwing buckets at the window, I kid you not. Precipitation is a whole new experience here. At least in between the rain we got a few sunny days and a little snowfall.

We had a few days of this

followed by this
and this
and this. Not much growing going on.

So what does one do when faced with almost a month of rainy days? 

1. You can organize all your shelves and closets. I don't have any pics of them, but believe me, every one of my closets is awesomely organized now, with a place for everything and everything in its place. In summer I'll be outside gardening and they'll revert back to the chaos-driven portals of hell they usually are, but for now....neat as a pin.

2.  You can refinish second-hand furniture you bought to fill in spaces where you had nothing, and then become angry that methylene chloride is no longer legal, since it was the only really effective furniture stripper ever invented. This two day project took me about two weeks because of having to use ineffective furniture strippers on the 99 coats of paint which adorned this sofa table. But to see that gorgeous wood top revived and re-stained was worth it. 

3.  You and your spouse can head to IKEA and load your cart up with Swedish knick-knacks with unpronounceable names! (Note: we did not actually purchase the Sagstua, just layed down on it awhile since we were tired. Plus how many Sagstuas does one really need anyway?) 

IKEA. Where else can you buy a storage bin, wood cutting board and charcuterie plate, table trestle legs plus pillowcases all in one stop? 

3. You can watch the Puppy Bowl with your quite disinterested pup. Then your husband can watch the Superbowl with his quite disinterested wife. 

In a way I guess I've traded the hot summers (when I'd try and stay inside) for cold winters when I do the same. The difference, to me, is that I can always bundle up, throw on a jacket with a hood, and head outdoors when I get cabin fever-ish. When it's hot -- like, over 100 degrees --  there's literally no way of dressing that will make stepping outside a pleasant thing. So I think I'm in the right place.

I do wonder when exactly spring is going to show up, though. I'm starting to see bud swell on the fruit trees, my roses have sprouted small leaves, and the daffodils are almost ready to open. 

Even paradise is a mystery sometimes. Albeit a wet one. 

Almost daffodil time. 


  1. Rain.... Never enough, here. Dry this January and COLD this week. Need to get seeds started for summer garden. Do you have a greenhouse or hoop house or some such?

    I always pick up Marabou chocolate bars and lingonberries if I'm ever near an IKEA. Maybe this weekend!

  2. Ooo, I forgot about those chocolate bars! I'll have to look for them next time! I grow all my seeds in the house until they're ready to go outside. It gets messy, but was much worse when I was also growing for the winery. This year I do have a garden shed with a clear roof, so I can at least harden them off out there, and maybe even grow them out there once we've had last freeze. So if you're hitting IKEA this weekend you must be either heading to the Bay Area or LA, I'd guess. Have fun!

    1. Well, it was LA but we went to the Huntington instead of IKEA. Much better! The camellias there are the best, a couple of them must be 25' high, one had a trunk at least 16" diameter, just spectacular. Wandered around the Japanese and desert gardens as well, wish we'd had more time. If I lived closer I'd get a membership but I only get there every other year or so, if that.

      Nice to have a place to harden seedlings off at least! When do you start seeds up there? What Sunset zone are you?

    2. So we're in Zone 8B, which I think is the same as Paso Robles was. Strange, because we get snow and only average in the 80s in summer, but I guess the frost dates are similar, although we have a four-season climate and Paso does not. I ADORE the Huntington, I grew up not far from there and spent many happy hours there with my grandfather. I'd love to see it again; it's been years. I remember going into the Desert Garden and feeling the air temperature rise a good 20 degrees. And of course wandering around in the main house and gallery, looking at Pinky, Blue Boy and the Guttenberg Bible. Great memories. I've got to get back there for a visit, it's been too long.