Monday, August 03, 2009

A little storm

We had a bit of a storm here last night. It’s been unusually hot here over the last few days. It’s hit above 30 degrees, which is nice, but a bit warmer than we like and a lot more humid than we are used to. Luckily, it usually cools off at night, being so close to the mountains. It’s been very hot on the west coast so we are getting some of their heat and humidity.

But there is a cold front moving in from the north, and when you get a sudden clash like this, there is some fireworks! And there were last night. I was getting ready to shut down, and go to bed just after 1 am, when there was a sudden gust of wind through the apartment and things are flying all over. I have only a small window which was wide open trying to get a breeze moving through the place. This was more than I wanted!

And when shutting the window, I looked out to find some rain starting and a lot of lightening. A whole lot of lightening, along with the thunder too. It was quite a show!! I remember sitting with my grandfather on the farm watching these summer storms, but that always seemed to be at a safe distance. This was right overheard. It was fearsome. It lasted only a couple hours, and now they are cleaning up the mess left behind – a few trees uprooted and some lightening strikes.

This is part of the same front that caused the deadly storm that went through the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose on Saturday. These things are common in summer; I was in Edmonton when they had that killer tornado in 1987. It’s very sudden and fierce.

We had a lot of wind this Saturday evening, and a young 3 year old girl on the street was killed by some flying debris from a construction site nearby.

There was a storm last week in Edmonton knocked out the power for a short time. There are a couple of oil refineries there, being close to the oil wells. It now seems that it is taking some time to get all the machinery up and running again after they were suddenly shut down during the electrical failure. This past week, you would have noticed a number of gas stations were shut down because they had no gas.
And today, you will find a lot more. You would have to drive by about 5-6 stations before you can find one that has any gas.

This is something that I have been warning those that will listen was going to happen. We are so dependant of receiving what we require from far away. There isn’t a monopoly (as we know), but when one refinery closes, why are all the service stations suddenly dry? It just takes one little break in our supply line and we are out of luck.

I was told by someone in Washington state that with the recent rains they had, the main roads were closed due to flooding. The trucks delivering all the produce to their cities couldn’t come up from California. It doesn’t take long for the stores to have empty shelves. We also receive produce from California and there are a lot more miles to travel, with more bridges, and borders to cross. Anything can happen (natural or political) so that those trucks don’t reach us – what can we do? I’m quite in favour of the hundred mile diet, of buying locally.

When I was very young, living on the farm, we had to produce everything we needed. We simply didn’t have any money to go to town and buy what we needed. We raised chickens and turkeys, had pigs and cows, had a huge garden, picked wild berries and mushrooms that were available. We had to buy flour (made from our own wheat) and sugar. If we could afford it, we would be treated with a box of pears or plums.

That’s all changed now. No one raises chickens or has cows now. We can’t buy eggs or milk from the local farmers. Many don’t even plant gardens anymore! One day they will be sorry.

A good friend of mine has been cleaning out her basement, and found a bag of a washed fleece. She has no recollection where she got it or why. It appears to be felted somewhat and is probably not useable for much of anything. It is very nice wool, but will take far too long to salvage. I did find a few locks that were pretty free of matting, and was able to comb them and spin a bit. It’s nice stuff! But I don’t know it I want to go through all that work for a bit of yarn. Not sure what I will do with the rest of it.

This is a pic of some of the yarn I made from a lock. It was all spun and plied on my CD spindle. I use it for everything… that is the best tool I have! I really enjoy working with it. I have no idea what anyone would do with yarn like this. But it is fun to be able to do it.