And then there was Nate

For the first time I can remember north Georgia was under a tropical storm warning for Sunday. The Channel 5 forecaster was pointing almost directly at us Saturday night.

Hurricane/tropical storm/tropical depression Nate followed the forecast track almost exactly, crossing the top of northwest Georgia during the day on Sunday, but by the time it got here, the watch had been lifted. We got more than an inch of rain from midnight through around noon on Sunday, and then another inch and two thirds during the afternoon, less than the three to five inches predicted, but still enough to satisfy me, and I hope, both the plants and the aquifers for a while.

There was wind. If this fast-moving system is really gone by Monday morning, I’ll see if it brought down any trees when the dogs and I take our walk. The damage will probably be limited to a few branches and lots of leaves in the road.

This late in the year I associate storms and rain with the passage of a cold front, but this was a tropical system, so it brought lots of humidity and warm temperatures. The temperature stayed around 70 degrees all day on Sunday, but it was too humid to open any windows. After this system is gone, we are supposed to have almost summer-like temperatures for the rest of the week.

Sunrise, 2 October

This greeted us Monday morning when we woke up.

It was the best sunrise we’ve had in a while, although we appreciate every sunrise, dramatic or not.

Nothing much has been happening around here, or at least nothing very noteworthy. Summer is fading into fall. We’ve had pleasantly cool nights and days that were warm rather than miserably hot and humid. The only bad part is that we have had very little rain.

Molly seems like she is at home now; in fact, she seems a little too much at home. She’s bullying Chloe, so Chloe doesn’t want to come inside. She plays enthusiastically with Smokey; we’ve had to warn Smokey that he needs to tone it down so that he doesn’t have a heart attack. She likes to ambush Sam when he comes down the hall. And she has finally learned that it’s OK to relieve herself outside. She is still using a litter box at night, and occasionally during the day.

Zeke is still escaping every once in a while, but he’s slowing down. I have to go out in the truck to pick him up. He’s hesitant to come to me, but eventually he will. Once the children of the people who bought our old house brought him home. He kept turning his head to look at them as they walked back home. I think he might like to visit a little longer with them.

Sam is still chewing on Zeke’s legs, neck, face and ears on every walk. They are such buddies, I worry about what will happen when Zeke is no longer around. After all, we’ve had Zeke 11 years, so he’s at least 12, maybe older. That’s pretty old for a big dog like him.

Lucy is still barking, and, unfortunately, peeing on dog beds. She loves to sneak out, go around the house, climb the steps up to the front porch, and eat the cats’ food. She absolutely does not want to go on our longer dog walks, so sometimes I leave her at home.

Leah’s feeling some arthritis pain, and what I think is sciatica. My knee hurts.

And that’s all from here.

Kitten Fix

The couple who have been pet sitting for us are fostering some kittens so young that they had to be bottle fed. They invited us over to see them last week, so Leah could get another kitten fix.

There were actually two sets, one about two weeks older than the other. There were at least eight total, not including their own, older cats.The little kittens were all pretty well socialized, which is not surprising consider that they have to be handled so much.
All the cats, both young and old, seemed to get along quite well. At least one of the older cats likes to groom the kittens.

Sometimes the kittens are not really into it, but the older cat is pretty insistent.

Maybe they don’t smell good.

As usual for a bunch of month-or-two-old kittens, they play hard.It’s hard to tell just what is what in the photo, but it was about as hard in real life.

Leah was in cat heaven for a while. It’s sad that none of our cats are nearly as friendly and affectionate as all of these cats, both kittens and adults. Even Mollie, our newest cat, who we thought might be a good pet, is mostly indifferent to us, although she appears to enjoy being petted. I told Leah we should trade one of ours for one of the kittens, but she isn’t thrilled about having a kitten that small.

All the small ones are fosters who eventually will go to new homes. I think they’ll make good cats for someone.


Advantages of hanging around

Leah and I were born in Rome. We have both lived in other places but ended up back “home”. Neither of us has any really strong connections to this area any more, but we have found a few advantages to staying put for a while. They fall more into the convenience category, but it’s kind of nice.

I have mentioned before about our regular Wednesday huevos rancheros lunch at the Los Portales Mexican restaurant. When we walk in, the person who seats us usually says, “You don’t need menus?” because she knows we’ll be having the regular. When we’re seated, if the server is one of the regulars, she’ll bring out exactly what we want: sweet tea for Leah and unsweetened for me, with extra lemon. Also, one or two bowls of regular salsa, a bowl of hot ranchera sauce, and a bowl of burrito sauce. Then she will ask if we want the regular. If it’s a new server, one of the regulars we know will usually walk by to make sure we get everything we need.

At the end of the meal, the servers bring one to-go box (for Leah’s left-over rice), an empty cup for Leah’s tea (fixed just the way she wants it), and a to-go cup of unsweetened tea for me. On one occasion when we ate there for dinner, the server didn’t bring our check, so at the cash register the guy there let us give him our orders from memory. “You’re regulars,” he said, “So I trust you.”

I have also mentioned that I have had hair my hair cut at the same barber shop for my entire life, save for once when my father got adventurous and took us to another shop. Even though I get only a couple of haircuts a year, the barbers know what I want. On Tuesday when I got my second (and last for the year) haircut, there was a new barber. I ended up in her chair. She asked me what I wanted, and I said, “A short cut.” She asked how short. I was going to tell her to ask the barber next to her, but before I could say anything that barber volunteered, “Number 3.” I don’t know exactly what Number 3 is, but it turns out to give me a short haircut like I want.

I sometimes wish we could move somewhere else, somewhere we didn’t have to suffer through the miserably hot and humid summers. But, since it doesn’t look like we’ll move any time soon, at least we can enjoy some of the benefits of staying put.

Irma’s in the was*

Here on Thursday afternoon Hurricane Irma is long gone, not even a tropical depression any more. There were hints of sun Wednesday morning, and even some blue sky on Thursday.

Although in Georgia at least two people died, many areas experienced damage, and more than a million people lost electrical power, we escaped with essentially no problems other than a lot of green leaves blown off the trees.

The last forecasts prior to the passage of Irma into western Alabama called for three to five inches of rain here. Our rain gauge registered about three inches over Monday and Tuesday, although I’m not sure that’s correct. The wind was not extremely strong, but I suspect that it was strong enough to prevent the gauge from measuring correctly. It was the best kind of rain, gentle and long-lasting. There was little runoff anywhere in our yard.

The wind was strong enough to break off a few dead tree branches along Fouche Gap Road, which I tossed into the woods as I walked the dogs Wednesday and Thursday. It was also strong enough to whip a three-trunked hickory tree back and forth pretty well as we looked out from the dinner table. I’m not sure whether they are tall enough to reach the house if one of the trunks fell, but I have to figure that out. Falling trees killed at least one Atlanta man in his house, and an Atlanta woman in her car. As much as I like trees, I don’t want one to fall on our house.

One nice aspect of the storm was the low temperatures. We had highs in the 60’s three days and it was cool enough at night that we debated whether to put a blanket on the bed. Now Irma is gone, the temperatures are predicted to get back up into the mid to upper 80’s in the next week.

*A Language Log post mentioned the expression “in the was” from a BBC interview of a retiring opera singer, referring to her career being in the past. I thought it was a nice expression, so I used it here.