Saturday, July 25, 2009

Watching Lightning Flash

It's a quiet evening. I'm alone at home for the first time in quite awhile. I should probably be in bed, but I've left this blog for far too long, there's a lovely light show dancing behind the mountains to the south, and I can sleep in tomorrow morning. In fact, I'm waiting for the house to cool down (all the windows wide open) so I can sleep well.

Bryan and the posse were here for a few days on their way back north. They got to southern Oregon before turning their bikes northward again. Got here Thursday night about three minutes before I arrived home from work. Needless to say, supper was very late that night.

They hung around yesterday, then departed mid-morning today, heading to Nakusp via Salmon Arm (I know, Huh?, that's bikers for you.) and eventually back in the north country by Sunday night. I walked away from the mound of linens in the laundry room and went on a little drive myself, up to Eagle Bay for the afternoon.

I would have ridden along with them, at least on the Shuswap loop back to Vernon, but I did a major number on my left hand last week. Was winkling a heavy object from a high shelf (when you're my height, all shelves are high) when it tipped my way and came down directly onto the tips of my ring and middle fingers (they're the same length because the top of my middle finger was removed down to the bone during an incident in my childhood involving a door and a highly incensed younger brother).

My first reaction was to remove my rings - good reaction. The second was to swear fluently and profusely under my breath - also a reasonable reaction. It hurt too much to yell. The ring finger sustained the most damage, but even the little finger was swollen for a few days. And the pain shocked right down to my elbow.

Taped the ring and middle fingers together for a few days. Made typing a wee bit awkward (but the Winfield editor sliced open his hand with a knife badly enough to require surgery, so our publisher was only mildly sympathetic - "If Chris can type with one hand...." ya, ya, I get it).

More to the point, it made biking impossible because I can't pull in the clutch lever. Now that's a real crisis.

Still can't get my rings on past the first knuckle, and typing (or anything else for that matter) makes the entire hand sore after only a short time. And that's the end of my whining. It'll heal. Eventually.

It's been hot in the Okanagan for a few weeks now, and no rainfall until last night. Had a good all-night soaker. The lightning is crashing and flashing all around us but no sign, unfortunately, of more rain. I just hope it doesn't kick up more fires. The three biggies last week were more than enough, thank you very much. Smoke from the Terrace Mtn. fire was so thick in Vernon that it was even hazy in our office. Last night's rain helped stop its headlong rush, reduced it from a category 5 fire down to a 2, I think.

I've been more careful with my yard watering. We haven't been issued water restrictions yet but that could come yet. The vegetable garden I established this year is doing great. Been enjoying the produce already.... as have the resident deer. I didn't mind them trimming the lettuces, got more concerned when they moved into the wax beans, but mutilating one of my tomato plants was the last straw!!! Placed dryer sheets on plants around the perimeter - friend Bernie up at Sunset House used that strategy with some success. Neighbour Mike has acquired a motion-triggered water sprinkler to fight his ungulate foes. May have to try that if the dryer sheets are not effective.

The baby quails made their debut last weekend. Two couples successfully hatched out rather large clutches, and the babies are a nice size already. They do a tour through our yard as part of their morning routine. I know they find a fair number of bugs and grubs in the vegetable patch - hoping they get more of the grasshoppers and earwigs! I'd rather not use pesticides - too many good insects and visitors get damaged in the process. One of my backyard neighbours has successfully sterilized her yard of all fauna, nuisance and beneficial alike. Not my idea of a healthy, welcoming yard.

I have photos somewhere to post but you know, between an ongoing stream of company over the past three weeks, very hot days, my hand booboo and spending my evenings outside - well, not much computer work getting done at home these days. I figure 40 hours a week of it at work is enough sometimes. Don't get me wrong - I love my job, and I love writing in my spare time. But it's summer in the Okanagan!!! I have all winter to ruminate and write and overwork my bladder with endless pots of coffee.

And right now, there's a great sound and light show to sit and enjoy. Wish y'all were sitting on the veranda with me, oohing and aahing.

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