Saturday, 5 January 2013

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

Yeah, yeah, I know - I've been MIA for a couple of weeks.  The thing is with all the sun that has been shining down on our patch of the planet and with the accompanying heatwave of a measured 45oC (in the shade), plus 5 extra people to feed and water, the excess power produced by our solar panels was not available to use for blogging.  You see it was rather urgently needed to run a freezer in order to make ice to drop into any liquid which was splashed into a glass.  I could barely even read your blogs - had to try and catch an occasional glimpse via RMans iFone - and even managed to comment on one once too LOL

The four dogs (Scallywag and DD's three) also found it hard to handle the heat - but DD and WGuy had anticipated that and had purchased a small paddling pool for the dogs to lie in when required.  LOL it didn't just keep the dogs paws cool either...
Cooling down hot, swollen feet - move over dogs,
it's the humans turn now...
In addition the mains water pipe which supplies our area, developed a leak, and we were all without water for 3 - 4 days.  Did I ever bless our rain water tanks and the 8mtr3 they contained in total.  Not for the garden though.  Not this time.  There are definitely going to be more rain water tanks which will find a home in this garden in the very near future!

Rather, the water from them...

flushed our loo...
Rainwater to flush the loo...
 ...and washed us, and our dishes.
...to boil to wash us humans and the dishes.
Thankfully, RMan makes a point of ensuring that we always have a 25lt container of potable water, so that saw us through.  Well, some of us.  RMan, RSon and WGuy found that an amber coloured liquid which comes in a glass bottle suited their needs better.  It was a case of whatever can hydrate you...
25lts of potable water to hydrate
our overheating bodies
But DD, WGuy & MKid, three dogs and a cat, have returned to Jo'burg, RSon & Dr A to Cape Town, and now we have some surplus power and I can continue blogging :)

I hope that y'all had a wonderful New Year and are enjoying the start of 2013?

2012 was a strange year - chaotic and stressful on a number of fronts - financially to begin with, then the packing of our family home, the move to the farm and the building of and moving into our new home.

The weather of the last 10 days of the year mimicked all that.

We had gale force winds, a heatwave and an (enforced) drought.  And then there was the fire...

At the southern end of the area where we live - roughly 3 kms from our house- a fire sprang up one of the windy days.  Even though RMan valiantly joined the volunteer ranks (of 5 people) to bushwack the fire, and with assistance of the fire brigade (with their tiny fire engine) it continued to burn for three days.  Then we had some very welcome rain.  Not much, not enough to add any water to our dam, but enough to cool things down again. But not enough to finally quench the persistantly smoldering cow paddies.  The fire flared up a final time, before it was finally quenched. 

Prior to the rain we had a stunning sunset.  Unfortunately, my little camera is not up to scenery shots, but I hope you can get some idea of what it was like from the pic below.
This sunset was a prelude to a storm
 After the rain we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow - one that stretched all the way from behind our dam...
God's gift to man - the beauty of a rainbow

My camera wasn't able to take a landscape pic
big enough to incorporate the entire rainbow in

one picture

... to the other side near our caravan.  Actually, the pic with the dam had a double rainbow, but that didn't come out in the photo.

On a final positive note, apart from my lettuce plants, and a swiss chard plant which went to seed, all the other vegetables in the shade cloth tunnel survived the heat wave.  Guess the porous pipe assisted in that too?!  The "shaded" ground must have been adequately watered to the extent that it could maintain enough water until the leak was fixed.  Another good reason to install a porous pipe shade cloth vegetable patch in your garden perhaps...? :)

21 comments:

  1. Glad you all survived the water shortage, the heat wave, had some rain, saw rainbows.

    Have a wonderful 2013.

    FlowerLady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorraup - We have our head above water LOL Best wishes for your 2013 too :)

      Delete
  2. Good to hear from you again Dani.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DFW - Thanks - glad to be back :)

      Delete
  3. Glad you survived the drought .. the garden success is wonderful! Come for a visit .. to make some snow angels :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs Mac - I'm a cold weather person, so I'd love to come visit... :)

      Delete
  4. Glad you are back. I forget sometimes that our weather is so different ! It's cold as cold here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane - Thanks :) Yeah, the beauty of the internet is such that one can experience all weather, anytime, wherever you are LOL

      Delete
    2. I would like to propose a trade of some of this weeks cold weather here, for a cup of your nice warm weather, hot as it may be ! Hang in there !

      Delete
  5. We've had it stinking hot here too! I am so glad that fire didn't affect you badly. It's a terrible time of year. Look at Tassie at the moment. Who would have believed they could ever have a fire so bad?! And I hadn't realised how big an honour it was to hear from you! Lol! Stay cool. We're over the hump now we've passed the solstice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda - Yeah - we've been watching the fire in Tasmania on the news. So sad. Looks like we're sharing high temps too!

      Delete
  6. Nice to catch up. Veld fires can be scary - glad you're okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GG - Veld fires are the worst. Was in St Francis a good few years back when a fire from Humansdorp swept through - t'was hectic driving directly through the flames to safety...!

      Delete
  7. Weird to hear that you're sweltering while we're here in the dark days. Nice to hear that the shade tunnel allowed the veggies to survive. Seems like we get drier and drier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tami - The blogs I follow which are experiencing winter are the only things that keep me going through the heat - I'm definitely a winter girl LOL

      Delete
  8. Wonderful to hear from you! Though I imagine it's been quite trying, it seems as though you are successfully making it through all of the challenges you're being faced with. I know it's rough when you're in the thick of it, but from an outside perspective, you are incredibly inspiring! Keep cool, keep going and know you're in my thoughts :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bee Girl - Thanks :) I'n not one to fold when the going gets rough(er) - although sometimes it takes me a while to see the positive side. But, we humans are tough, and can handle most things if we put our minds to it. It's finding that lateral thought solution that sometimes takes a while... LOL

      Delete
  9. Sounds pretty hot down that way Dani. It has actually been totally opposite here for quite awhile, although it has now started to be a little more bearable last few days. Guess that's the difference between Canada and South Africa, summer and winter. lol. Don't think I've ever felt +45 Celcius, but I do know what -40 C feels like. Guess I can always put more clothes on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FCH - Yup - hot is definitely the word LOL

      Couldn't agree more - far easier to get warm than cool!

      Delete
  10. That's one horrific heat wave. And no water to boot! Dan is already planning more catchment tanks including some for flushing water for the toilet. What a blessing you've done as much as you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leigh - The way I see it, the more water storage each of us has, the better equipped we are for the future - wherever we are on this planet. Love your double-decker storage LOL

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day.

I have de-activated Word Verification, but if the spam floods back again, then I will be reactivating it.