Monday, February 28, 2011

Flood Scare

We've had nothing but melting ice and snow for the past month around here, so the ground is already fully saturated. So when mother nature decided to dump another 12 hours of heavy rain on us last night, the water level finally started going up. I live reasonably close to a creek in very flat Ohio farm country, so stuff gets swallowed up fast.

So when I came up upon a full road closure with a LOT of standing water behind it some 300 yards from my house, I started getting very nervous... moreso when I turned around in the tiny part of my neighbor's driveway that wasn't underwater, and got headlights far enough back to see his house was flooded out, with water up to the doors of the trucks parked in his yard.

It took me an extra half hour to wind around through near-submerged back roads to try and get home from the other side of the flooded road. Even then I had to drive around another road closure sign and ford a good section of road flooded almost up to my floorboards to get back.

Fortunately, my house is on enough elevation that everything remained dry, even the basement. More fortunately, the power stayed on so the sump pump could keep running (my one gripe about the otherwise ingenious house design is that all the water from around the foundation is intentionally drained into the sump system to get pumped out... great when there's power, but quickly becomes a terror when it's out).

So my house, along with my neighbors (also dry) are now technically located on an island. I'm calling my insurance company about flood insurance first thing tomorrow. As far as I can see, the weather only stands to get wackier, and coming home tonight was a very sobering experience. And, fortunately, one for which I am still tossing out thanks to the powers that be.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tool Maintenance Sunday.

Fulton 3/4 hand axe. De-rusted, pre-oiling.

It's Tool Maintenance Sunday here at the farm. Been learning more about the varying quality of antique/vintage tools, and realized I had a few gems in the collection that were not being treated as they should be (my "knocking around" adze is in fact an old Warwood, and so I took it out of the snowbank and brought it inside for a full restorative treatment).

After several hours on the angle grinder, I got the majority of my chopping implements looking, if not new, as good as they ever will. Also, my hands feel all vibrate-y...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Time to tap!

Temps are rising, so it looks like I'll be tapping the four maple trees in my front yard this weekend, for my first-ever attempt at making my own maple syrup.

In other news, I feel like this has been a week of big mistakes here at the homestead. From getting my dad's van and a huge trailer full of wood stuck in the snow in my back lot, to finding all but one of the rain barrels I made last year broken and mangled by ice, to stopping up my bathtub drain by degreasing a bunch of old cast iron skillets in it, we're running real strong on hindsight here lately.

Hopefully I'll only be making these mistakes once...