08 March 2010

How I spent the Labour day holiday

It's so nice to have a long weekend, especially in the middle of a very busy school term.

I did have plans to spend time today working in the garden, extending the veggie patch. Instead we spent the morning cleaning up the aftermath of Saturday's storm.

It was a doozy. I usually love storms but this one was ferocious, not like the storms we would normally get this time of year. The wind was howling, so loud we couldn't hear ourselves speak outside. The graceful gum trees in the bush behind us were blown almost horizontal in the constant force of the wind. No gusts of wind. And no chance to spring back up and brace for the next blast. Just one long, continuous howling gale.

And then the hail came. Without warning, chunks of ice were suddenly falling from the sky. Not the cute little hail stones we are used to, but huge, hard chunks that looked like blocks of white butter falling from the sky.

It lasted a long time. Almost half an hour of pelting hail and howling wind, followed by a torrential downpour of rain, too much too soon. One awful, very loud crack and the ceiling in Hannah's bedroom started to leak. Then it started in another spot, and another and another, until we had nine buckets in there catching the water pouring through. The hail had broken two tiles, shattered them into small pieces, which left a gaping hole in the roof.

The gutters, already filled with ice, couldn't handle the rain and they overflowed. The eaves along the east side of the house became waterlogged and collapsed.

The roof on the verandah couldn't stand the pounding and gave way in seven spots, dumping ice on the tree ferns.

And my garden. My precious babies were buried in ice, blown by the wind and drowned by the rain. And yet when I was able to go and check, there was only one capsicum on the ground. Some of the plants had lost a leaf or two, but the eggplants were still there, without a blemish, the capsicums were hanging on, even the parsley was starting to perk up.

Unfortunately the greenhouse was torn to shreds. Two of my seedling boxes were blown off the table and some of the styro boxes were actually blown out of the greenhouse and down the yard.

The apple tree that was stripped of it's fruit just over a week ago was on Saturday stripped bare of it's leaves. They looked like  a lovely light green carpet over the lawn.

We are so much better off than many of our neighbours. Wayne was able to replace the tiles (thank goodness we had spares) and the carpet in Hannah's room is almost dry. The wet insulation has been lifted to dry and there is only a faint watermark on the ceiling.

The garden will recover and I've already started to work out how to fix the greenhouse. All those lovely leaves will do well in the compost and the apple tree was starting to drop it's leaves anyway.

I was rather tired by lunchtime though so something fun inside seemed to be in order.

Out came the sewing machine and the pile of UFOs in the hall cupboard. I managed to finish off the handtowels for the kitchen and they look so lovely. The Disney embroidery turned out especially nice and suits the pink of the towel too I think.  I even had a cute little pink button in the jar, just waiting to be used for something special.

Please excuse the fingerprints on the grill door!

There is a How To... with the pattern and instructions for making these hand towels in the Member's Centre if you are interested. You can get two kitchen towels from one regular hand towel, with just a scrap of fabric needed for the topper.

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