Thursday, April 13, 2006

I never want to live in Kansas. . .

If this is what it is like to live in Tornado Alley, I never want to live in kansas. I'm getting oh so tired of tornado warnings, thunderstorms, high winds - I thought Saskatchewan was windy, but this is ridiculous. At least once a week we've had severe thunderstorms, downpour and high winds for the past month. Last time was just 3 nights ago and it blew over my greenhouse and demolished it. I decided not to rebuild it, and then in the heat yesterday rebuild it quickly LOL. I haven't finished putting braces up, just fixed the plastic and rescrewed uprights back together, and looked ahead to the forcast for the weekend to see they are warning high winds and thunderstorms. THen a few minutes ago I got another severe weather warning with tornado watch til midnight tonight. Ben and I bought rope and bolts to bolt the greenhouse to the railroad ties, and I said we'd have to do it before the weekend, but it looks like we'll be doing that tonight.
On another positive note, we are having record highs in and out of the trailer. 88F this afternoon and supposed to stay like this over the weekend - perfect tornado weather. Yesterday I was reminded of the wonderful heat trap this trailer becomes in hot weather - it is always 10-15 degrees warmer inside the trailer than outside in the summer. So when it is 80 outside it is 95 inside. Always cooler to sit under a tree outside and hope for a breeze than sit in the trailer where the cross winds don't seem to cool the interior down. I decided I was going to die this summer if I didn't do something, so last night I opened all the windows to cool it down overnight. About 8AM when it was still 60 outside, I shut the windows and hung heavy quilts up on the south and east windows. The extra door and south window in the trailer I had already put foam board on and caulked around, so I am not too worried about that. Then I kept the front door closed and if I went out I raced in and out quickly. I was tickled pink to see that it stayed the same temperature inside the trailer as it was outside. 78 outside, 78 inside. How wonderful - til it reached 88 and it felt like we were in an 88 degree cave (windows covered LOL). So I hung another blanket at the entryway of the hall, turned the air conditioner and fan on and we finally have it around 79 in the living room/kitchen while it is still 88 outside. Our air conditioner isn't the most efficient, so I considered putting the one we have stored for the bedroom in the living room also, but when I walked to the bedroom and found it was 100 degrees in the area we have blocked off, I realized we either need an air conditioner down there to sleep or else we need to sleep in the living room. I am certainly amenable to sleeping in the living room, but need to put Emily where it is cool so will have to figure out what I can do about that.
I also decided we are not going to cook this summer. We had a lovely light tomato, cucumber, cheese, pepper, feta and lettuce salad with a piece of grilled kielbasa on the side for lunch but for supper I made the mistake of making crustless pizza which raised the temperature of the house 2 degrees. I've only had the oven on for about 20 minutes, so can't imagine what would happen if I was roasting something in the oven. I dug the crock pot out yesterday to use and found it heated the kitchen as much as the oven would, so it's going outside to cook food. I also want to get one of those countertop element thingies (think I saw one I might be able to borrow in our loft in ND)so I can fry, crock pot, or grill all our food outside. Then with the trailer pool available to Emily and I, we should be set.
Speaking of Feta, I splurged and bought a gallon of unhomogenized whole milk from the local creamery (still pasturized, just not homogenized) and made us some feta. Knowing how horrible it was the last time I made it (I made it rather laxidaisically without timing or such), I was hesitant to do it again, but Ben talked me into trying it. So I weighed, temperature tested, stirred for the right amount, hung it up and put it in the fridge and Ben has already been nibbling on it and said it is Delicious. I tasted it myself and yes, it is good. :) We sure couldn't afford to buy Feta, so this home made stuff is a fraction of the price and much better anyway LOL.
With all the beds ready to be planted, I decided we needed to look for some tomato plants. After a long glorious drive in the country (we got lost .) we found our greenhouse and I purchased 4 heirloom tomatoes I've never grown before and one hybrid that boasted excellent production. We'll see how they do with me gone so much this summer and not around to water them. .
I am going to run so Ben can do his necropsy report and we can head to the country before a tornado hits us ;).
Signing off
Heather, Ben, Emily, Tia, Franklet, Mocha and Becky

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Hi Ben and Heather,
I sure enjoy hearing about what you are up to these days! Keep posting! I really feel for you in your living situation, kind of like living in a basement cave the first winter! We were rather toasty last summer before placing the haybales on top of the roof just before winter hit. I lived in Indiana for 3 years, and the weather there was a lot like you are experiencing in Iowa. Yuck!