Most of the week, I've been aware of the storm coming. I've had trouble taking it seriously. I worked all day yesterday on a web map that someone created for Irene with feeds from the GOES satellite, weather warnings, precip radar, etc. I added parish structure and services data, finished it just in time for the 4:30 NWS government conference call. Still need to write instructions for people to use it, e-mail them to everyone.
Got up today, and the NWS says the intensity tomorrow will be less than forecasted yesterday. This isn't a typical storm, all spread out and disorganized. Harder to make advance forecasts.
The rain today has been heavy at times, but we haven't had bad wind here. When I look at the GOES satellite picture, I can see the dry air from Texas cutting into the side of TS Lee, coming right up to my house. There are tornado warnings close by, but the storm is completelly quiet here now, except for the increasing humidity.
During lulls in the rain so far, I hoed a pile of leaves that was keeping the driveway from draining into the roadside ditch. I took all the waiting compost buckets on the patio to the compost pile, buried them in the chopped up live oak leaf compost base.
The covered patio is still not hurricane-proofed, we're not taking this storm seriously yet. I noticed the sickly satsuma tree was starting to drop its fruit. I picked a few, reveling in the pure orange smell even though they are still green. I forgot how the skin tears if you don't remember the clippers to cut, not pull them off the stems. They are not sweet yet, but they are ready to eat for those who like sour satsumas.
I've been reading Frances Mayes' "Bella Tuscany", the sequel to "Under the Tuscan Sun". When I read books like that, I start to think I could write. Also, makes me want to have a summer house in Italy.
The pets know a storm is coming - can the cats feel it through their whiskers? Even the carport cats who don't normally come inside are staying close by the door. The neighbor cat Andy has staked out a spot on the top of the garbage can in the dryest corner of the carport.
The college-age daughter is doing her laundry, and painting her nails. She is sitting on a dry spot in the carport, with the 19 bottles of nail polish in a semi-circle before her, arranged in rainbow order. The touchscreen smartphone is in the middle of the arc, so texts can be read and sent easily. She shows me how the crackle layer of nail polish works. She can't paint her nails indoors when I'm home because the smell is too toxic for me to tolerate. She came in to show me her fingers and toes - almost every color of polish was used. She is a walking rainbow.
I opened the heavy drapes to let light into the living room for the first time this summer. Normally, the summer sun heats up the room too much so the drapes stay closed all summer. The diffuse light from the cloudy day makes the room look different to me.
We have our 1st Sunday of the month discussion group in Butte La Rose tomorrow, at the home of friends on the bank of the Atchafalaya River. The weather forecast is for heavy rain, sustained winds of 30-40 MPH, gusts to 50. Do I really want to drive on the elevated bridge over the Henderson Swamp when the wind is blowing like that? I don't think our meeting has ever been canceled in the 8 years it has existed. How hard does the wind have to blow for a Dodge Grand Caravan to be swept off the bridge? The storm is such a non-event today that I don't think anyone else is alarmed about tomorrow. Are we going? What will we bring for the potluck supper? Do I try to make one of the Italian recipes in "Bella Tuscany" to go with the hostess's main dish of spaghetti?
Well, on to the day's chores. Watching the radar - will I get caught in a downpour if I go shopping? How much of the gardening equipment on the patio really needs to be put away before tomorrow? It's hard to concentrate on the mundane when the swirling winds surround us.