Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Whanau Head Count

Ok, we're all here. But wow it was a close run thing!

Last night, at 1am, we got nailed by the strongest storm we've experienced in Texas. I was waiting for a tornado warning, although I'm not entirely certain the push would have come through the weather. I'm pretty sure the radio and cell towers we can see from our bedroom window got nailed by lightening. And I was shocked there wasn't a scorch mark in the back yard from a bolt of lightening (with the thunder at the same moment, that's how close it was) that put me in a fetal position! It takes a lot to do that to me!

The most interesting moment, however, was when Jynx got out of the bedroom and we had to go get her.

Since I was up anyway- there was no sleeping with the intensity of the storm- I decided to get up for a waz (my new favorite word, it means to pee). Which is when I discovered we were out of toilet paper. So, Steve, being the amazing husby (my other new word, purely by accident) that he is, asked if I had enough to finish.

"I'd have to use kleenex."

"Hrrumph. That's not good for the system."

"I could use the cardboard tube, but that's not good for anything."

He got out of bed and went to the storage room to get more. Jynx waited for him by the door. I knew what she was up to, so I tried to distract her, but as soon as that door cracked open, she was out like a shot!

When I got out to the lounge, Steve was looking miffed, holding her food dish, and Jyxy-ing to the couch. She was under the couch and refusing to come out.

Suddenly, a new noise joined the constant crashing of thunder and pelting of rain. Steve and I looked at each other and started closing the windows which had all been wide open. Not all the way, mind you, if a tornado were to hit, you don't want the windows closed. I know that much at least.

Then, the french doors blew open.

Seriously, they just blew open!

There was lots of crashing on the porch, and I had visions of ultimate destruction. Steve leaned his weight into the doors to shut them again, and the strobe light effect of the lightening showed us the armageddon happening outside. I got very scared, I'm not ashamed to admit.

We got the doors closed, and I turned back to find Jynx crouched by the couch. I picked her up and she was shivering, poor thing. As we walked down the hall, the power kept flickering off, which added an even more ominous feeling to the whole event. We went back to the bedroom and sat on the bed waiting for it to either blow over or pick us up and take us to Oz.

It blew over.

The destruction wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared, either. We lost some branches off a few mesquite trees, and one of the pecan trees snapped off completely. Out on the road, there's a couple of telephone poles that are down, but we're on satellite so we didn't notice.

I think today is going to be pretty much wasted, though. Being up for nearly 2 hours in the middle of the night because the world is shattering doesn't lend well to a restful morning!

Although, we're also very thankful. It could've been much worse. According to the reports this morning, there was a tornado that touched down a few hours drive northeast of us. Injuries reported, but no deaths, thankfully.

Spring in Texas! Isn't it fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kiwi-isms: Yeah-Nah / Nah-Yeah

"Whanau" is a Maori term meaning family. I've talked about this before, but it bears repeating.

Steve is a Kiwi, meaning he is from New Zealand. When we got married, we lived in New Zealand for a number of years, which means I picked up a bunch of the local colloquialisms, or Kiwi-isms. I also got an entire class of preschool kids to use "Dude" in the proper Californian fashion, much to their parents dismay, but that's a story for a different day.

Today's Kiwi-ism is the extremely useful Yeah-Nah/Nah-Yeah combination.

When I was a kid, I would sometimes be asked a question that deserved a positive "yes" response, but was framed in a way that "yes" didn't really make sense.


For example, this morning I had just finished making the coffee and Steve asked, "Did you make the coffee already, or not yet?" As an American, that's kind of hard to answer. Instead of a simple yes or no, you have to fully explain that yes, the coffee is made. It's much easier with yeah-nah.

"Did you make the coffee already, or not yet?"

"Yeah-nah," meaning yeah, I made the coffee, nah it's made. If I hadn't made the coffee yet, I would've said, "Nah-yeah," meaning no, I haven't made the coffee, but yeah I would. If I hadn't made the coffee, and wasn't planning to, it would simply be, "Nah," with a strange up slanted inflection and a pointed look meaning you're making the coffee this morning, dude.

Ok, it's not the best example, but trust me it comes in handy. It's just really hard to explain!

"That movie was good, but it wasn't the best ever."
"Yeah-nah, it was alright." = Yeah, it was good; nah, it wasn't the best ever.

"That cake wasn't very good, was it?"
"Nah-yeah!" No, I disagree with you, it was the absolute best! Mmm...chocolate.

Sorry, I digress.

Now, it should be noted that this is not the American yeah-no/no-yeah. I did a quick Google search, and this is a huge phenomenon in American speech patterns that I was unaware of, but with, apparently, different connotations. From what I can tell, the American yeah-no/no-yeah is just a way of starting a response, sort of like "you know," "like," "so," or even "uh." It's a pause while people's brains fully absorb what's just been said. The Kiwi "yeah-nah/nah-yeah" can be a stand alone answer.

So, next time someone says that the dry tasteless chocolate wasn't very good, huh? You can reply confidently with, "Yeah-nah!"

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bunnies made of hate and barbed wire

I have eczema.

I suppose I should be relieved it's not ring worm like I thought. Although, ring worm is curable, eczema isn't.

Right now, all I know it that my legs feel like they're being humped by bunnies, if bunnies were made of hate and barbed wire. That should give you an idea of how I feel, and why I've been a little out of sorts for... a while. This flared up about 2 months ago. It's gotten very old.

I don't even get the benefit of cute twitchy noses. Hate bunnies can't smell. 
Also, the doctor announced that I have rosacea. Seriously?

And he circled two moles that we need to keep an eye on.

How did one doctor appointment age me so much? I went in 34, and came out somewhere in my 60's.

Well, it's after 5pm now, so I should probably eat dinner and get to bed. Phbbbt.

Monday, April 4, 2016

One year

On Saturday, April 2, we celebrated the one year anniversary of signing the mortgage documents and owning Whanau Farm! I found the Facebook post that I posted...

Ahhh...sweet little naive me. 

Well, it's been quite an interesting year! Turns out the previous owners were not as great as they seemed and we're still trying to clean up their mess. Our neighbors were not very enamored with them either since they basically trashed this place. Fun.

Also, we learned that the inspection we had done on this place before we bought it was worse than useless. It was actually illegal to sell us this house because the electrical wiring is illegal.

We've replaced the front porch that was mostly rotten and had lots of termite damage. Replaced the chicken coop that was atrocious. Slowly, we're getting through our list of things to do.

And this is home.

With all the little issues and headaches and total nightmares, this place is our home now. We're happy here.

Besides, the rot in the front porch is gone, we've got a great chicken coop, the veggie garden is started, and we're even starting to clear out the mess in the paddock. Our wildflower crop in the front yard is one of the best that we've seen in the area. And our century oak is stunning.

So, to celebrate (sort of) the signing of the papers, on Saturday we bought a portable building to use as an art studio! It should be delivered in about a month, and I can't express how excited I am. The last time we had a studio was 2012 in our New Zealand house. I miss having a dedicated area for creating.

We're definitely putting our mark on the farm.