Back in business

Sorry for the gap but we’ve been busy dealing with the pre-storm events, the storm itself, and the post storm cleanup. The net of it all was that we sustained no damage and that goes for everyone we know all over the state. Everyone has the same story – lots of downed branches and debris but very little actual structural damage and a multi day power outage. In our case we were out 4 days but our discomfort was assuaged by our trusty generator. We can pretty much run the house with a little usage management and no air conditioning. 
This time around we figured out that we could use the hot water heater periodically so we even had showers. So, all in all, it was like a comfortable camping trip.

The lake – highest I’ve ever seen it but a couple of feet below flood problems. My neighbors dock was actually overtopped. It naturally drains at about 1”/day. The water temp dropped from bathtub warm to cold springs as I found when I jumped in to cool off from my brush clearing project.

The beach – took Nancy to her bridge game at Palm Coast yesterday and
proceeded on to check out the beach. Hurricane Mathew last year really clobbered the beach with a large loss of dune sand. I was concerned that this storm would further that loss and perhaps cause some homes to lose their total buffer so I was pleasantly surprised to find the erosion was maybe a couple of feet. After Mathew I had worked with friends building a wooden seawall, covering it with sand and planting shore grass so I was anxious to see how well that fared. It did the job but suffered some structural problems and needs to be recovered with sand. They were hard at it so in a day or so, it will be back to normal. The beach itself looked really good and I saw no damage at all to houses along the beach road. All of our watering holes were open for business. One interesting thing – after large storms the beach and surf are normally heavy with seaweed which can take months to degrade or wash away. None at all with Irma.

The garden – wipe out. I have two ratty looking tomatoes out of a dozen, 3 ok looking pepper plants out of 10 and a total wipeout of the eggplant and okra. Pineapples look perfect. One surprise loss was Rosemary. The wind must have burned all the leaves; maybe it will come back but it sure looks dead. Ditto the basel but I really expected that. The good news was the cucumbers and squash look just fine. These had only popped out a week before the storm so I guess they had such a low profile, that the wind didn’t tear them up. Planting this time of year is alway iffy so anything we get will be classified as a bonus.

Just to round off the week, my lawn mower died. The drive wheel gear box stripped and it wasn’t worth repairing. We stopped in to Lowes and there was an all wheel drive unit on sale so we were back in the mowing business in just a few days. Here’s the good part – The heavy rains we’ve had for a few days before the storm and then along with the storm had the grass way high. What I didn’t realize was that the cutting level on the new mower was much lower than on the old one – which cleared the sprinklers. Yep, crunched a pop up sprinkler with the new mower about an hour after putting it together. I cleared out the pieces wrapped around the blade and tried to restart it. Nope. I live very close to a dealer for that brand and took it right over to have them see how bad I had screwed things up. No problem and I came home and finished the job. I’m going to assume that this past week was truly the week from hell!!

Bright spot – Persimmon Hollow is up and brewing.

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