Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Seizing a brief opportunity

It hasn’t been easy getting stuff done recently: It’s rained all or part of nearly every day for at least two weeks, and the current rainy weather is making it impossible to get any outside projects done. Actually, it’s made it difficult to even make any progress on outside projects. One somewhat desperate solution has been to seize a brief opportunity.

Today I took advantage of a few hours without rain to mow the front lawn (the photo above is a progress shot, taken when I stopped to scoop out grass goop from under the mower). The weed “flower” spikes by the footpath are mostly paspalum, and have shot up because of all the rain lately, as have lots of other weeds—everywhere. Those spikes are the bane of my existence because they’re hard to cut at ground level without making two passes. This time, they seemed “drunk” from the couple weeks of rain: I was able to get most of them in one pass.

A neighbour walked by as I mowed, smiled and waved. I must be back in my neighbours’ (somewhat) good books again—unlike the owner of the currently vacant rental across the street—that lawn’s a sea of yellow weed flowers. Not mine—for now.

I’d just finished the front lawn and opened the side gate to the back when the rain returned with some warning shots—mere gentle droplets. I put the mower away, locked the gate, and came inside—and then the clouds dumped heavy rain. Apparently, tornadoes are possible (NOT American style), though not necessarily in our area.

It was 24 at my house (75.2F) with 67.8% humidity when I was mowing, so it was uncomfortable out there (temperature dropped a degree or so and the humidity soared when the rain resumed). At least we got a few hours without rain, and even a little bit of sun.

The back lawn is a MUCH bigger job, and I have absolutely no idea when the weather will actually improve (meaning, no rain for a couple entire days; I won’t get greedy and ask for sunshine). Rain, heavy rain, and/or thunderstorms are predicted until December 1, when it may be “partly cloudy”. It’s weird that I’m actually looking forward to the possibility of a day that’s merely cloudy.

The weather app on my phone and iPad I use the most-frequently is from the NZ Met Service, and it provides the usual useful weather information (which is how I know the weather won't be great for the next ten days). They added a special section to the app called “Laundry Drying Time” so that people (like me) who hang their washing outside to dry can see how long it will take (this time of year, it’s usually around an hour on a sunny day). Lately, however, it’s been saying “Wet all day” followed by an indication that the next good drying day would be in “5+ days”. Because I have to dry my washing in the house, I took an an ordinary oscillating fan (with the oscillation turned off and set to its lowest speed) to blow air on the drying rack to help the laundry dry faster. Otherwise, in this weather it could take two days, and the rack isn’t all that big.

This afternoon, I received an alert on the App local governments use to send official announcements and reminders to subscribers. It warned that there was a “Severe weather watch in place for Hamilton,” and advised us to, among other things, “Secure all loose items in your yard.” So, I did: I took a couple of 2-metre-long bungee cords I’d bought to secure the net cover of the Vegepod (photo below). At least two different storms had blown the cover off the Vegepod and across the yard, so I decided to do try to prevent that happening again. This was the first serious storm since I bought them.

It turns out that was probably a good decision: Heavy rains, strong winds and thunder all swept in repeatedly late this afternoon and all evening. Many times it rained so hard that I had to turn up the TV volume because the TV was being drowned out by the storm. I checked on the Vegepod just before sunset, and the cover was still secured. [Update – November 23: The cover was still firmly in place this morning, despite storms all night long.]

It hasn’t been easy getting stuff done recently, but today I got things done, including one thing—securing the Vegepod lid—that I wouldn’t have had to do if we had nicer weather (no strong storms, in other words). I also seized the brief opportunity created by a few hours without rain to get the front lawn mowed. One does what one can.


Roger Owen Green said...

my lawn is much smaller than yours.

"my neighbours’ (somewhat) good books again—" that must be a Kiwi phrase because I would have said "good graces" or "good terms"

Arthur Schenck said...

I had to look it up, and it's called "chiefly British" by Merriam-Webster, which would explain why it's common in New Zealand. It's so common, in fact, that I wasn't even aware that I'd never not used the phrase. It's opposite, of course, is "bad books". Which I'm not currently in.