Preparing for Irene

I just came back from almost a week away. I was all the way across the country, in San Francisco, settling my son into college. There’s always catch-up to do when one gets home. There’s laundry and grocery shopping, and the dogs claim to have been neglected and require lots of scratching.

The garden has truly been neglected. Of course there’s always the humungous squash,

ripe tomatoes,

and green beans (Blue Lake and French Climbing) that need picking.

It’s overgrown, but it could wait.

Except there’s a hurricane coming. The current prediction is that it’s going to pass right over the top of my house and coops and garden Sunday afternoon. Those tomatoes are going to fly off the vine.

There won’t be any corn left standing.

Today I’m harvesting everything I can, and then I’ll do what I can to preserve it.

Before the rains come (they’re predicting more than 5 inches) and the winds hit (up to 70 MPH gusts), Candy will be tucked into a hutch and put inside the HenCam coop. It’s a sturdy little building where she can ride out the storm safely. We’ll fill a bathtub with water and have lanterns and candles ready for when the power goes out. (It undoubtably will. The question is for how long.) Lawn furniture and planters are getting stowed in the garage. I’ll stop in the library tomorrow and find something to read. Something light-hearted. Any suggestions?

I hope that everyone in Irene’s path stays dry and safe! We’ll be fine. We’ve got tomatoes, bread and cheese to last a week.


  1. oh hell, hope you all stay snug in your respective coops; At least Daniel is safely out or the way!
    Have you read Stella Gibbons ‘Cold Comfort Farm’? I think you’d love it, very funny, very English.
    I’ll be watching the weather and will email soon – flat out printing at the minute.

  2. I love Alexander McCall Smith. Have read all the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and the Isabel Dalhousie series. Plus there are several that are not part of a series. Loved Cordoroy Mansions. One of its characters is a a dog named Freddie de la Hay.

  3. I just finished “The Help” and absolutely LOVED it!! I agree that “Corduroy Mansions” is a fun read too. Hope you don’t sustain any damage, Terry!

  4. Stay safe! We are watching the storm unfold from here in the midwest (Indiana)…and our thoughts and prayers go out to you and all of our neighbors to the east who are in harms way.

  5. Yep…. I’m preparing here too. Hoping that trees don’t fall on the house or the coop! It’s very weird to think about these things here in the northeast.

    Regarding books, since you are a dog lover I highly recommend the Spencer Quinn mystery series. They are about a human guy private investigator and his dog Chet. The books are written from the dog’s perspective and they are hilarious! The cases are pretty good too!

    Hope you and the farm are fine during the storm!

  6. Yep know how you feel. I live in the Hampton Roads area of VA and this is going to be bad as Isabel back in 2003. I just hope we won’t be without power again for three weeks. Lots of putting up of lawn furtinure and shopping went on here today too. I am goind to read Stephen King as I always do during hurricanes. For something light hearted I would reccomend Janet Evanovich, her books are quite light and funny.

  7. There is a children’s story about a girl lighthouse keeper who has to go out and rescue her hens in the storm. I have visions of you running back to the house, head down, clutching chickens to your chest. I am officially worried about you and yours.
    Stay safe,

  8. Just got off the phone with our son in New Jersey. He is stocking up as well, and hopefully we will not lose contact with him this weekend.

    My all-time favorite book is “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon. Also, “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is really transporting.

    Terry, you and your family are in our thoughts. Please take care.

  9. Be safe. We’re in upstate New York and we’ve got a Tropical Storm Watch… that’s unheard of! Hoping there isn’t any significant damage. I second “The Help” if you haven’t read it already.

  10. I don’t think I have any idea how stormy it’s going to get for you! Our little storms seem rather trivial although we whinge a lot when once in a generation one comes along – but it’s not an ‘Irene’!

    Hope you and every around you – animal and human – stays safe and sound indoors.


  11. Hang in there, & stay safe!!!…I’m in Florida, at first we thought it was coming here!!…I have lived here for 5 years now, and not seen 1 hurricane yet!! (I used to live in Michigan!!)
    A great lighthearted read for me was a book called “A Lion called Christian”…..I don’t know if you ever saw that viral video of 2 men being greeted by a lion they raised, and taking him to africa so he could be wild…they return a year later and he remembers them and jumps up to lick their faces!!…Well anyway, that book tells their story!!…Very good read!!
    My thoughts will be with you and all your critters on Sunday!!!

  12. #1 Ladies Detective Agency Series

    pleasant reading…kind people…humorous

    Hunker down and hopefully the mess will be minimal!

  13. One more…Dog On It, by Spencer Quinn. Bernie is a Private Eye and his sidekick is Chet who ALMOST passed the K9 exam. Chet tells the story here. Very cute Dog’s eye view.

  14. Reading material: A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle. You’ve probably already read it, but it’s a fun book.

  15. Hey thanks Fellow Book Suggesters! I jotted down your suggestions (looks like some of us have enjoyed the same books)and am excited to check them out.
    I Must Highly Reccommend The Help on Cd…it may be the BEST EVER book I have listened to. Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturan series is a very close second.

  16. I would look for anything by Elizabeth Goudge. She’s out of print but still shows up in libraries sometimes. My favorites are the Blue Hills and the City of the Bells. The Deans Watch is great too.
    I am sending my hopes that this thing dissipates gracefully before it gets to you!

  17. An easy and delightful read, Still Life with Chickens.
    Sorry, I don’t recall the author but she and I shared the same concerns about ordering and raising chickens, Newcastle disease
    coops and city ordinances.
    Stay safe, hope it doesn’t get as bad as the forecast describes.

    • Oh my yes Terry, read the book! We certainly had a wild ride with Irene here in DC
      , so good luck with your “dance” with the lady. But now the sun is out, so it is time to clean up, and ponder earthquakes and hurricanes…the cats like none of these, but are intrigued by the possibility of a plague of locusts!

  18. Hey – good to see your girls out in the yard! I’ll bet they were pretty pleased to get out!

  19. Terry, one of my favorite books of ALL time, is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It’s a pure delight to read. Even though it deals with the German occupation of the Channel island of Guernsey, and talks about some very hirrific times for its inhabitants, the way it is written will steal your heart and make you want to fly there immediately! It is enchanting, and I promise you will love it!