Warm spring rain.

Before the sun went down today I wanted to get some grass cut. When I started it was warm and dry but on the horizon I could tell it was raining. The rain didn’t really look like it was going to come meet me but about half way into my task it really started to rain.

It was one of those rains that wasn’t overcast; just showery. I was thinking, “Why don’t I just park this thing and be done with it for the day?” I was soaked all the way through all my clothes and getting cold riding on the mower. “Just another 15 minutes and I’ll be done,” says my internal voice (like it always does).

Then I looked up and saw a full, very bright and vibrant double rainbow. By the time I got my phone out, figured out how to get into the camera app in the rain this was all I could capture:

Just like that, the sun went back behind the clouds and the rainbow was gone.

I was sitting next to my bees, in the rain with nothing more important to do.

I’m reminded to slow down and enjoy the moment. It may not seem like it but little bits of nirvana surrounds us all the time. Everything is as it should be.

Today nirvana was a rainbow sitting in the rain at the end of a busy work day. All I had to do was look up.

Down time

Kind of. We decided to go down to Florida to change the temperature for a week.

St. Augustine, Florida
Windy yet placid

I didn’t take the week off from work. Instead I just worked in Florida. It’s one of the cool things about my job. Technically I can work anywhere as long as I have good Internet access.

On this day I sat in a vehicle near the ocean and watched the wildlife while I worked. I saw things I don’t normally see. For 15 minutes I watched a family of dolphins body surf the waves. I really wanted to take photos of them but I was presenting in a meeting which did not afford me that opportunity. It was so interesting and deliberate. One of them would go on its back while the others on their bellies. They were clearly playing with each other.

Then a few minutes after that I noticed a seagull testing his scooping skills. It would pick up a stick, glide up in the wind then drop the stick. As the stick fell it would swoop down and try to catch it before it hit the ground. I watch them try to get his seagull friends to join in but none did. For 20 minutes this game continued.

One of the days it was 85ºF and we were able to ride a motorcycle all around St. Augustine. The other days it was chilly and cloudy so we decided to stay “inside”. It was nice to slow down, eat seafood and camp in another State Park. Go here for a map of Matanzas State Forrest.

I think I see the problem.

After 201,000 miles it’s finally time to change out the head light assemblies in my 12 year old truck. The old lights work but not that great. I think the new ones look (and hopefully work) better than the older opaque ones.

This spring I’ll be replacing the bumper and a passenger side quarter panel that was damaged in a crash, new fog lights (one of these leak) and put a new coat of paint on the front end. It’ll still be an old truck but will look a little nicer.

After that work, I’ll replace the roof. One of my family members decided it would be a good idea to dance on the roof with some friends at an outdoor event. Nothing that time, money, steel parts and some paint can’t repair.

To replace the assemblies you have to take off the wheels. Go figure.

Graduation: Confirmed

Yes, she said she graduated. Yes, they sent a diploma. No, they are not sending any more bills.

But tonight, with my own ears, I heard her name spoken in a commencement which confirmed directly from the school that she had, in fact, graduated.

Congratulations, Helen Westerman!

We are proud of you.

Helen is a 2020 graduate from the Virginia Tech Architecture program with Cum Laude honors. Whoop!

Mouse Nest

The other day I was cleaning up the barn and found this carefully crafted mouse nest. It is made from wool and insulation that was discarded as we progressed with the van build project.

Mouse nest

Right in the middle there is a nut of some sort.

No sign of the mice but I did leave the nest where it was and cleaned up around it. I’ll keep an eye out for Ratatouille and his crew.

First Snow Storm of 2020 Winter

Yesterday we got our first big snow storm of 2020. The night before I set up one of my cameras to do an 8 hour time lapse to capture the weather all day long.

A cool time lapse of the storm from start to almost finish.

Predictions were all over the place but at the end of this we got 8 inches of snow with layers of ice in between. Today it’s very heavy and wet yet cold enough to still have ice in the trees.

This morning’s sunrise.

After the sunrise and after I got done with most of my work I set out to clear a path so we can get out of the house and get some exercise.

The sun will do the rest but the ice and snow are here to stay for a while.

Just like that I realize it’s winter.

Winter sneaks up on me every year. Slowly the weather turns colder as the days get shorter. But generally it’s not until one day in December when I walk outside in the evening that I think to myself, “Wow, it’s cold out!”

Tonight was that time for me this year. It’s December 15, very close to the winter solstice. Tomorrow is our first real snow storm predicted to bring more than a dusting. Actually it might be more like a foot here where I live according to some models. Time will tell.

It’s 24º at 11pm. Burrr.

It will be interesting to see what pans out. Normally I don’t worry about cleaning off snow until there is more than 8″ so tomorrow may be one of those days. The temperature is in the Goldilox zone of right at freezing and down to 20º with lots of water in the air. We’ll have to see but I’ve noticed out here that these forecast numbers can be conservative.

Forecast for tomorrow’s storm says a foot of snow.

I don’t have a business that requires me to work outside in this stuff so I say let it snow! How much will determine if I get out and shovel with the tractor or let nature take it’s course. I’ve marked the drive so that if it’s deep I’ll be able to see where to plow.

More to come.

It’s been the weirdest year.

First it was moved into 2021. They must have gotten together and said, “To heck with it, let’s move it into 2022 because 2021 is shaping up to be a lot like 2020!”

I’ve never planned a concert this far out.

I checked my calendar and it turns out we are free.

Christmas Star

This is truly a once in a lifetime event. More accurately a once in many lifetimes event. Jupiter and Saturn will be extremely close together. As in view them both in one eyepiece or a pair of binoculars close together.

Without visual aid they will look like a single very bright star – some are calling this the “Christmas star”.

And it is interesting this will also be the Winter Solstice for 2020. Every day is longer from this point forward until the middle of summer.

This is where I’ll be on Monday evening December 21.