Monday, June 30, 2008

Rain Bounce.

OK, friends and fans of weather. We had something of a big day around here last night. First things first:

And I wasn't going to report that amount. I was not. I wandered out bright and almost early this morning to check the ANYLF rain gauge, and when it said that, I thought, Bullshit. Sorry to all you kids tuning in out there. I mean, it rained off and on all evening, and it rained hard from about 10:30 on through until I went to bed sometime just before 2:00, but that amount? Bullshit. And I was sad. It rained so long and so well that I wanted to know how much we'd gotten, and I was sad that rain bounce off the morning glory leaves, which are nearby, or some other odd excuse, had ruined the crackerjack reporting that goes on here at ANYLF Global 27408 Rainfall Headquarters.

Now. I will say this: After the first beautiful evening rain—it came on right before sunset and rained half an hour or forty-five minutes and afterwards half-cleared off and set a rainbow down over the top of the Harris Teeter and also turned the light all through the neighborhood this pink-yellow such that the houses changed color, which is to say that our white vinyl siding looked pink and then yellow, literally, and the light all around felt physical, almost, felt like you could have perhaps removed a portion of it and set in a box for later—after that rain, I was plenty happy, but the dog wasn't right, and I checked the radar around ten o'clock, and this series of storms was lined up basically along the interstate back towards Winston, and I did think, That looks kind of like a once-in-a-season kind of thing, and if all those storms hold together, which surely they won't, we sure could get some rain out of this, thus making up for my sad sulking Friday and Saturday when we were twice surrounded by rain and twice saw it slide by and/or evaporate. But then they held together. More than. And new ones formed right along the lines of the old ones. Here's a time lapse from give or take 10:30 to 1:30 (for those of you scoring at home, these are moving essentially west to east):

Even for all that — and I cracked the window before I went to bed because it was still pouring, and I was loving the sound of all of that, and when I fell asleep it was still raining, and I even woke up once and it was still raining — even for all of that I still thought, holding the rain gauge pre-coffee, Bullshit. And I checked in with the good folks at NOAA, who were reporting an inch and a half at the airport, and I thought, See?


Click on either of those images — both radar estimated rainfall amounts for the previous 24 hours — and you'll see a little fingernail sliver of three inches or so right to the just-west of Greensboro, right around our neck of 27408. And: The toilet I left out for the city gentlemen to remove had, give or take, three inches of rain in its open tank this morning. And: I don't know when the last time was I saw it rain that hard for that long. And: I specifically moved the gauge a few weeks back to get it out from under the Japanese magnolia, to make sure we weren't getting rainfall readings and drip readings together. And: Even though the gauge is yes in the morning glories and near the tomatoes, I really don't think there is such a thing as "rain bounce" off morning glory leaves. Those things are too frail to do anything other than just flop over.

So we're actually and yes going to call it 3.2" for the series of storms yesterday. I got my frantic lawn mowing dash. In fact, I got in a foul mood because I thought whatever it was that started raining on me while I was finishing, badly, the last few stripes, had blown on by or blown apart. Here's the thing: it had. It's just that there were six or seven more good storms back behind it.

This happened in May, too — a huge storm on the last day of the month to take us up and out of our monthly deficit. It's not great to get it all at once like that — be better to have half an inch every few days — but I'll take it where it's given. That was some rain, friends and fans. That was damn sure some rain.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Small Favor.

Another shield of rain rolled in through Yadkinville and Winston last night. It again rained south and west and not here. We got a nice sunset out of it, a little wind, but not much else. The fancies seem to want to give us a better shot at good rain this afternoon and this evening. We need it. I still haven't mowed the yard. I'm trying to time it right. I want that frantic pre-storm mowing. I want those last few minutes, those ones where you're pretty sure you should head in, but try to finish up the last couple strips of unmown grass anyway. I want other things, too, but for now I'll keep my requests to just that.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All Around.

OK. Let me not to the whatever etcetera admit impediments, OK, but a small complaint:

Could not we have received unto us even some of that? West and east they got it. North and south they got it. Here we got the thunder, a freckling of the driveway in those parts of the driveway not under any tree cover whatsoever, and nothing else. I ran the tools inside and off the table at one point. I tied up the tomatoes. Oh, needless errands. It looked like it may later on have rained out KR and AAW's way. None here, though, friends and fans of weather. None here. I'm not even recording a trace. I say it has to at least smell like rain to count as a trace.

This happens in 27408. This happens more in 27408 than in any other five-digit place I've lived. We know it rains. It rained here in April. It rained in May, sporadically and occasionally apocalyptically. It rained some in March. Here in June, though, we return to that familiar drive-by pattern: It rains on TV, on the local news, on our friends. It rains two blocks over. It rains in all environs save this one. Here, it looks like it will surely rain, and then it simply does not.

We did catch a half-cool with it into the evening, though, so I don't want to lodge a full and formal complaint. We could use more rain, yes, but we're not yet on water restrictions, and even with the creeping yellow death rearing its annual head right on time, our tomatoes so far look like this (thanks, soaker hose):

There's green fruit. There are flowers. There is, thunderstorms passing us by notwithstanding, a modicum of hope to be held onto. We tried for a house in 27215 this week. We missed out. More and more on this later. For now, we aim ourselves back, for the summer at least, towards 27408. Give me these tomatoes. Give me the hailed-out hostas. Hell, I'll take even the Japanese beetles surely coming to eat the cannas, just now coming into bloom. Give me the best hydrangeas on the block. The second year of impatiens so good they slow passing cars. Give me the pots of flowers on this porch, give me the ferns, the rosemary from my cousin's wedding I keep trying to kill. Give me the rotted brick mold on the screen door. The gutters full of maple seedlings. The filthy spiderwebbed eaves. The hot water valve that continues to leak. It would all, all of it, have been better over there, surely. But we have these trials and tribulations now. Now is the time to pull the morning glories out of the tomatoes just long enough to let them fruit and then die. After that, I'll cede the ground back to the morning glories. The Blackeyed Susans are coming in. The asters have recovered from the storms. We live here. As good as that house would have been, and as good as it would have been to learn that ground, I would have had to learn that ground. I know this one. I know what goddamn bindweed lives in these gardens. Time now to see what there is to be done about known enemies. Time now to farm this land. I haven't cut the grass since the hailstorm. Three weeks. Time now do do what's difficult, what's unpleasant, what's necessary no matter where you live. Time now to mow the lawn.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Word.

Mums. In June.

I think the cool nights — you may remember, friends and fans of weather, that we had a few cool nights in between bouts of the kind of weather we're having today — I think the cool nights confused them. These are Harris Teeter mums from two falls ago. They will not be killed by rain, snow, sleet, hail, or drought. They're in with the impatiens. It's an odd, fall color out there in all that pink.

The heat's back. It's like a bill come due. There are a couple of thunderstorms out there, but they're mainly well west and nothing to get overly excited about. I'm not saying it definitely won't rain. I just think there's probably time to finish painting the back door this afternoon. There's maybe even time to start painting it.

It's almost July. There is I think a mouse living in our water heater closet. There is I know one living in the wall behind the vanity in the shed. The mums are blooming. The evenings are lasting well past nine o'clock. My elbows feel funny. The bathroom reno is threatening completion. There are green tomatoes on the vine. It's about time for somebody to make a list or something, start checking things off, drawing lines through completed tasks.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Valve Stem.

To ride back from the game in 27215 with my ex-landlord JLT means to ride at approximately 19 mph through Elon and Gibsonville and Sedalia and then and only then to pick the interstate back up around McCleansville and yes carry that to the other side of Greensboro altogether. This is not the way one goes to 27215 with JLT. To get there, one drives the interstate most of the way but stops eventually at JR's Outlet Humidor Stetson Hat Jeans And Additional Variousnesses Emporium to purchase peanuts for thirty cents less than they're on sale for at the game, and then one also stops of course downtown at Zack's for a hot dog, which is not quite as good as those on sale at the game.

To renovate a bathroom means to be sure you're almost done only to discover that the hot water valve is so stuck to whatever it screws into that you may in fact have to call a plumber just to show up at the door, unscrew the thing for seven minutes or so, and then collect $150 for the pleasure of owning the correct wrench.

The 27215s gave up one in the eighth and another three in the ninth, the last two coming on a bomb of a home run over the Alamance Fencing Co. sign in left-center.

If I spray the valve for twenty minutes with WD-40, it'll turn a quarter-turn.

On balance, certainly, things are fine. I'm not bodily on fire, and I got to see a ball game. It rained a tenth of an inch yesterday.

Still. I had plenty of time, riding home at about the speed I can run, or used to be able to run, to think endlessly and only about how the shower valve is somehow a symbol of both whatever fiasco is occurring in my life right now, and whatever new one looms out there on the horizon. The valve is a metaphor for the next valve.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Solstice Again.

Last night in 27403, a storm built in from the east, sat on top of JBW and KFW's house, rained for ninety minutes. They had to have gotten an inch of rain minimum. Maybe an inch and a half. Here in 27408, three and a half miles away, we got nothing. Nothing. Drove home through some interstitial fog down in the hollow of Aycock as you come through the university and into what used to be Lake Something before they drained it and built neighborhoods, and when we flatted out into our side of town, it was dry, dry, dry. Classic summer 27408 weather. You can see it raining from here. You just don't get any.

But we got ours today, the day after the solstice, or the day after the day after, depending on who's counting, and who's celebrating, and how. A good downpour for the better part of an hour. A little hail, but not the blood-of-the-lamb-on-the-door sort. Just some. Pea-sized. Briefly. I'm guessing three-quarters of an inch.

Here's something pretty for your brand new summer:

Still rumbly out there. One of my favorite sounds: so long as we get some, I love to hear it over at your place. That radar's a beautiful thing right now. Lots of folks getting lots of rain. Tomorrow'll be a good day to stake your tomatoes out there, Weatherheads. Warm rain and a warm night ought to bring everything right, right along.

Dog's still holding tight to my feet. We may even get a little more before it's all done and said.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice.

Hey, summer. What a way to come in. 72 degrees already and falling fast. Yet another cool night. My clock's all damaged. It's still light enough for a good game of pickle. These are the nights when I don't even think about dinner until ten o'clock.

I'm sure they've been going for a week or more, but I just — just — heard my first cicada.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's Fall.

Solstice coming. Summer variety. Doesn't matter. Have you been outside today? Have you? Here at ANYLF much and much of the day was spent in the Bathroom Renovation That Will Not No Matter What End, a kind of heat wave in its own right, but the tiny window in there was open, and occasionally I had to go out to the shed for a screwdriver or something, and there are the fifteen or so feet between the back door and the shed that are, in fact, outside, and so. Humidity at something like eleven percent. Headed for the fifties again tonight. Attic fan on. It's September. It's Fall Break, the drive back down out of the mountains and onto the flat part of 421 over by Yadkinville, out of the crisp cool and back into what at that time of year feels like heat but really isn't. It's aggressively pleasant out there. This is the weather that will slow the tomatoes. This is the weather that opens up the windows and doors. This is why to live here instead of somewhere else. Spent last evening with TLK in 27215 at the Burlington Athletic Stadium watching the Rookie League Royals lose their home opener. Beer was $2.75. By the end of the night, pizza was a dollar a slice. There was a breeze. It was the temperature it is now. I wanted for a long-sleeved shirt. That, friends and fans of weather, is weather.

AMR came in from the shed this morning. It's fall, she said. I know she's not right, but she's right. Hey, cool snap.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Geraniums, Cannas.

The solstice is coming, and we're just on the back side of a heat wave the likes of which we hadn't seen in several years, but they want us to bottom out in the upper fifties tonight, and so here at ANYLF the entire staff is suffused with a sense of joy and wonder, sort of. It doesn't rain any more (again). We can and should deal with that later in the week. For now, though, the hailed-out geraniums are making a good recovery, the TLK cannas are just starting to bloom, the tomatoes are almost head-high.

Very bad rookie-league baseball debuts in 27215 this evening. The A-League All-Star Game is in 27401, also tonight. The tile gentlemen have come and gone, and they have tiled. We may be headed back toward drought, and Japanese beetles are almost certainly getting ready to show up, to start eating the cannas, but there is this little interim period, this moment when we drop down to 57 degrees overnight, this day where the grout is drying and we can't get back in the bathroom to keep working on it. A pause. Mandatory recreation. A forced leave.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day.

I feel like it rained Saturday night. I have a gauzy memory of that. It was raining a little around seven when we drove east out of it toward dinner, and when we got back there was about a tenth of an inch in the gauge, though the airport is reporting a little more. Another of those bands of storms that disintegrates right as it gets here, then reforms over toward Raleigh and further out. Plenty of wind with it, and a kind of dry line that pulled through around 5:30 as we were sprinting through the big box trying to purchase cement board and tile and various pressure-treated items with which to shore up the walls for the cement board and tile. Twelve-plus-hour days Saturday and yesterday getting ready for the tile gentlemen who are now here and in the WeatherCloset tiling up perfect and pretty my shoddy underlayment. We were eleven o'clock last night, me telling AMR I had to quit, that I couldn't see straight, and AMR carefully reminding me that in fact I could not quit, that the tile gentlemen would be here anon, etcetera, and I drank thirty gallons of Gatorade and made a perfect babbling fool out of myself on the phone to the paterfamilias on his day, and he laughed at me, and then I layed in the rest of the floor, puzzle-piece cutouts and all, and then it was this morning. There were intervening hours, but I don't know what happened in them.

Here is more than anyone really needs to know about Hardie Board.

Slight chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon. My father taught me to love the weather. He also taught me to go ahead and try home renovations. Six of one, this morning, anyway, and a half-dozen of the other.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lowered Volvo.

There's been this black-primered lowered Volvo for sale up there in the strip center next to the strip center that has the Video Review in it. It's parked out by the fancy dress store I've never once set foot in, and the dry cleaners, and the whatever else. Regular Volvo, mid-eighties, but painted this badass fierce rad primer black and lowered down onto what somebody who was into this kind of thing would probably say were sweet wheels, or rims, or both. I myself am not a huge cheering fan of the dropping one's automobile down to within an inch and a half of the ground, but I can see how just the technical fiasco involved would be impressive. I spent the better part of seven hours trying to understand and repair shower valve stems today, so I can get half hold of what it would be to take a regular Volvo, stand there and look at it a while, and then decide to see if you could set it down almost entirely onto the ground. The mechanics of such a feat at least seem impressive. Anyway. We were coming back home from one of the many plumbing somewheres and there was an interested party test-driving the lowered Volvo, negotiating gingerly around the treacherous dip at the intersection of Elam and Cornwallis. The lowered Volvo burns oil. The lowered Volvo has one of those mufflers that make your automobile sound like a cross between a sullen eighth-grader and a turkey call. The lowered Volvo has bad shocks: as they went through the dip, the riders bounced around inside of that thing. Get the right dude, and the lowered Volvo is the supreme accomplishment of man. Lunar modules? Air conditioning? Shower stem? All pale compared to the black-primered lowered Volvo wagon.

Truck dead briefly and then resurrected by the good folks down the street at the Citgo, courtesy of a new brake hose something on the driver's front side. I'm waist-deep in a plumbing project I deeply, deeply misunderstand. We were all day long in somebody else's smoke, detritus from down east wildfires. It is surely cooler out than it has been. It continues not to rain. June is supposed to be easy. I had always thought of June as something that might be easy. June is not easy. People are out there making decisions. Test-driving. Imagining. Breathing smoke. Watching the sky. Purchasing for themselves heavy-duty handle-pullers, a tool built precisely for the job that's had them so damn flummoxed all afternoon. Well, friends and fans of weather, my handles are pulled now. Good and. What happens next is anybody's guess.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Improving Conditions.

Everything was different today, right from the moment we let the dog outside: I'm not saying it was cool, but by comparison, it certainly seemed like life could be going on at such a temperature as that. We yes of course heated our way through the day, but we've dropped back down tonight maybe not to attic-fan weather but at least to reasonable, to the kind of weather that doesn't make you want either to switch religions or choose one. It's raining nearby, but not here. These are signs. The gods are still trying to kill us, but not as specifically or immediately or concertedly.

The pots — impatiens, vinca, petunia, geranium — need water. This is a task that's already weighing on me for the morning. But it's a knowable labor. Cup of coffee. Shade out front. Fifteen minutes.

We've got one cut hydrangea in here in a vase on the kitchen table. There are green tomatoes on the vine. Goddamn I love this square of land.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hot Again.

Hot again, but something's coming. Local fancies and national alike have a shift in the pattern for us, a steep decline all the way into the mid- and upper-80s, and a chance of rain, however slight, every day for a week. This will all change tomorrow, of course, but for now, how pretty does that seven-day look? There's something half-organized finally sliding this way, as opposed to getting trapped and squeezed in the plains. Is that Plains, or plains? Keep it tuned there for folks who know the difference. Tune in here for wild, reckless speculation.

La Vieja's daylilies, however damaged from the plague, have started blooming in earnest. They're that wild orange roadside variety, sort of. They're not fancy half-hybridized genetic crossover mutants. I've got plenty of those in my own yard. La Vieja's are just tall and pretty, twice the volume they were last year, out from under her big beautiful maple and into the sun and loving it. Even at 100 degrees, they're loving it.

There appears to be a severe thunderstorm watch — for this evening — just to our north. I don't know that I believe that part of the forecast. I mean, I can see the yellow quadrahedron or whatever those things are called — rhombus? trapezoid? Help, Mrs. Habersetzer, of North Springs High School 9th grade geometry — and there are indeed storms forming in the mountains, but I'm not sure anything will hang together enough to make it all the way out here onto the flats. The plains. Still, though, friends and fans of weather, the light was different today, that part of it I could see from my window, anyway, a little gauzier, more like something might eventually happen. I'm ready. Give me a midnight storm one night this week. Something to go with morning coffee. Doesn't matter. Just let's break this heat wave, and all this dry. It is 10 June 2008 and we have not seen rain this month. Reporting live from 27408, this is your intrepid reporter with your local forecast.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Still Hot.

8:30 pm. 86 degrees on the screen porch. The heat on us today like some bowl turned upside down. Salad tonight half because it's good and half because the hot has got those things looking like they want to bolt, no matter if we're eating them as baby leaves or not. The spinach is about to give out. 100 degrees is not for spinach. Speaking of those hundred degrees, I don't think we ever quite made it there, as forecast, though it didn't make too terribly much difference. I'll give us 98 or 99 on the Weatherdeck. There hasn't been one time in several days where for even a moment there was any kind of real relief on the breeze, in the shade. The news of late has us sharing the wealth: today Philadelphia closed its schools at lunch, sent the kids home. Yesterday it was 101 in Athens, GA. And if you're not getting our heat, then more than likely you're getting 50- and 100-year floods. Tornadoes. They're canoeing down 4th Street in Bloomington, IN, my brother reports. Our continent might be trying to crack itself open, too.

Here's who I hurt for here, today: roofers, bridge builders, asphalt repairers, postpeople, meter readers, house painters, golf course maintenance dudes and dudettes. Anyone with any business whatsoever in any attic, whether professional or personal. Outdoor clowns and other mascots. Persons wearing sandwich boards that say WE BUY GOLD.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot As.

A stove. An oven. The inside of a bag of microwaved popcorn. The vinyl car seat after you come out the mall with your mom, drinking your kid-sized Orange Julius. The plastic straps of the chaise lounges at the pool. The ladder on the high dive. The head of a just-blown-out match. The asphalt of the cul-de-sac on your bare feet. Coffee from any fast-food place. Two rodents engaging in intercourse in a woolen stocking.

The fancies said we had a chance for a stray afternoon storm. Those bastards were lying.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Heat Pump.

8 pm. 90 degrees. Maybe a little more. I think the ANYLF thermometer might be cooked. Hot. So hot. Storms off to our far northwest, but not coming here. A week since it rained. The airport had it at 97 today. The NWS wants it to be 102 tomorrow, 101 Monday. The locals want it to be a little less. This is the earliest I remember it doing this. It's hot. Abidingly so. Certain of the agricultural interests seem to love it: tomatoes, cannas. The livestock not so much: dog, cats and homesteaders all ready for something else. At this point, friends and fans, I might take hail.

Thank god I didn't mow the lawn last week. Y'all out there find something in a glass with ice, OK? OK. Go barefoot. Go shirtless. Stop using hot water in the showers. Sleep under the fan. Hang on.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hot Already.

It was 82 degrees at 9 this morning when I started the first round of watering everything. We haven't had rain since the plague, and it's supposed to be nearly 100 today and tomorrow. We cool back down to 95 by Monday. It's a heat wave. I do have to say, though, that by midnight last night, AMR and I were able to happily sit out on the WeatherDeck and enjoy if not a cool breeze, then at least a breeze. And I've seen much worse here on the Piedmont — it's hot, sure, but it's not that wrung-sponge hot of later summer. It's also only 10 o'clock now. Check back in at 4:15 to see if we're on some kind of suicide watch over here.

I do love the smell and sound of the hose. I do love that quite a bit.

I called my brother in Indiana to ask about hail damage, to explain the plague. It'll all come back, he said. What about the these plants? I said. Yep, he said. What about the those other plants? I said. Those, too, he said. What about? I said. We get it all the time, he said. We've been in the basement twice this week. It'll all come back. If you guys get two or three of those warm days you get, it'll all come back fine. About those warm days, I said. No problem there.

It's all coming back. Even the begonias look pretty good this morning. The little brother delivers the calming benediction. A heat wave comes with it, but for tomatoes I'll take the trade.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


We're having a CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT FOR OZONE. ANYLF heartily recommends the AIRNow website, courtesy of your tax dollars hard at scientific work, and doubly recommends the NAQS, or National Air Quality Summary. Oh, acronyms and abbreviations. In another life I'd work for the US Gvmt. When I was a kid, I should admit here and now, I definitely thought NOAA was Noah. It made sense: That dude had been given a lot of responsibility in the Sunday School story. Why not make him in charge of the weather?

I like the three subject areas available under "Key Topics" over there at the AIRNow HQ: "Your Health," "Smoke from Fires," and "International Air Quality."

It remains hot. Hace calor, the kid sang in the Sesame Street song. Could fry an egg on the cement it's so caliente. Hace calor, mucho calor. How 'bout this weather, it sure is hot. Then there was some kind of maraca playing.

The birds are sitting down in the lawns with their beaks open. The dog keeps trying new spots on the wood floor to see if they're cooler than the last. Everything out there seems very still. We're picking up a haze from time to time. The air seems a little iffy. Quality of Air Means Quality of Life. Oh, Gvmt mottoes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Heat Advisory.

Hot. Hot like Fourth-of-July hot. Supposed to stay hot for the next however long. A week. More. It's ninety-three degrees out there right now— over ninety for the first time this year, and we may be up near 100 by Friday. It's so hot they were talking about it in the Post Office. He said his truck was running hot, one clerk said. I can certainly understand that, said the other. Day like today.

I bought another pair of sandals. Not sure that helped.

What might help: Drinking water from the hose. Fresh greens. Cold suppers. Iced coffee. Cutting a new pair of shorts out of some dress slacks from the closet. Cheap can beer. Pears. Shade. Ceiling fans. Low-slung chairs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This Happens.

Our radar looked like this at about 4:00, with all that mess tracking in from the west-northwest.

The storm down near Statesville was dumping golf-ball-sized hail, said the NWS. The Winston storm seemed to be headed right for us. But all the storms were headed in their own individual directions, it turns out, instead of doing anything organized, and they split to our south and north.

There seems to be a shield of light rain coming in behind everything else, but it may not hold together long enough to matter much. Basic ANYLF 27408 afternoon summer pop-up storm pattern dictum: If it looks like it's coming, it's probably not coming. We spent all last summer watching what few storms there were come right at us and then slide right by. And, anyway, so long as we get rain one of these afternoons, we'll be OK plant-wise. The ground's still plenty wet from Saturday's plague.

It's right now, as we push toward evening, darkening up a little bit. There may be something left out there yet. So far not even enough rain to slick the streets.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Recovery Efforts.

A morning spent writing and the rest of the day spent doing storm cleanup has me in a slightly more optimistic mood about the agricultural concerns. It doesn't hurt that a good half of our lettuces, however banged around, are standing back up, and that there's already new growth on the tomatoes. My fifty-cent geraniums — most of the stock at the local big-box got pulverized, and they were selling it on Sunday for piggy-bank prices — even look like they might come around. I intend to spend the cocktail hour with a tiny pair of scissors pruning back the fiasco on those things. Now: We still certainly look like it hailed as much as it hailed, and some of the yard may not make a comeback until next spring, and the tomatoes are still bruised white all up and down the vines, but there are little signs of hope in odd corners out there.

They've scaled back the storm chances for the week, and the fancies are now just giving us a slight chance each day, which means mainly that it's summer, and it's humid, and nobody knows much of anything about what might happen except that every now and then it kind of looks like it might maybe rain later on, and they're saying basically that. Get the wind blowing the right direction for fifteen minutes in a row and it'll rain at your house. Blow it in the other direction and it could rain here. Could also not rain one drop all week. Keep an umbrella in the car. Wear shorts. We're not quite sure what to tell you here at ANYLF, except that the YLF part of all of this is a bit of a riddle. Let's go with a quick storm sometime tomorrow evening into Wednesday, and not much more than that. All rights, of course, are reserved vis-a-vis changing any portion of that entirely without any notice at all.

Yesterday in the Teeter I noticed a sign above one of the aisles for 'Diet Water.' On the way back down Battleground the Rice Toyota sign said it was -196 degrees. We've still got a few things to sort out in 27408.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Damage Estimates.

Our disaster scale, from all-but-destroyed to probably salvageable, runs like this: Radishes, begonias, hostas, the tomatoes, some of the ferns, the TLK cannas, the squash, the lettuces, La Vieja's daylilies, our daylilies, the basil, certain of the other herbs, vinca, the other ferns, some of the rhododendrons, petunias, impatiens, hydrangea. I haven't even checked on our okra seedlings, it occurs to me.

It hailed a long, long time. Today there has been something of the sadness around these parts.

Stormy off and on all week, they say, and in the nineties by Tuesday. Hey, July. Perhaps we'll just skip June this year. This is how it goes, though, in the Greater Triad Weatherplex: We do not ever really get our months in order. We sometimes do not get them at all, so I won't say for sure if or when we'll get June. All I can say for sure is that you should go ahead and plant whatever else you've been saving to plant, because there's really not much way we'll see weather like that again. It was like somebody just dumped a cooler out right over the top of us. For half an hour.

Good luck out there with your own agricultural concerns. It's June, even if I say it isn't. Official start of the hurricane season, and we've already had one way down south: Arthur. More to come, of course, boy-girl-boy-girl. Probably we'll have to institute some kind of special tropical segment or something over here at ANYLF. Second only to the live remote in front of the pile of highway salt is the live remote from the soundside Super 8 Motel, wind whipping the parking lot signs, the reporter screaming back to the studio about how just yesterday, Bill, there were sunbathers all up and down these beaches. But today it's a different story. Then they say fury and wrath and Mother Nature.

Our fancies, by the by, are keen, keen, keen on the hailstorm — the locals are splashing graphics up telling us all how we tuned to them first when severe weather struck. And we did, I guess, but I remember it pretty well, and don't really require the reminder.