30 August 2007

Gettin' my geek on

I'm sure the general sogginess of southeast Minnesota and south central Wisconsin is news to no one by now. But I have to get my geek on and revel in the hydrology for a moment. Although there is one day left in August, the forecast is for no rain for a change, so I will go out on a limb and assume that things won't change today or tomorrow. First up, daily precipitation for the month:

I would like to point out that prior to August 4th, we were having drought conditions...dead lawns, watering restrictions, the works. Since then we have had rain almost every day (about half the days that look like zero on the chart actually showed a trace of precip). And may I point out that 1/2-inch of rain is a decent amount (ten days of the month if you include the 27th with 0.48 in) and three of those days over a half an inch set record daily rainfall amounts (3.39", 2.13", and 3.20" on the 18th, 19th, and 22nd, respectively).

So what do a lot of wet days add up to? A VERY soggy month:

The line shows the cumulative rainfall to date for each day of the month and the blue arrows highlight some interesting monthly totals for the Madison airport. From top to bottom, they are

  • Average monthly rainfall for August = 4.33 in
  • Record monthly rainfall for August = 9.49 in (set in 1980)
  • Record monthly rainfall for any month = 10.93 in (set in July1950 and based on over 100 years of data)
  • Total for August 2007 = 14.88 in
Fortunately, our apartment is located where flooding hasn't been a problem, though there have certainly been some impressive flooding in our county and in the surrounding areas. Our problems have been limited to too much indoor time since everything has been staying wet all the time and a bumper crop of mosquitoes. Fortunately, today is lovely and the forecast for the next few days is sunny and clear, so the mud may dry up and we might get a little outdoor time if the skeeters don't eat us alive!

We will return to our regularly scheduled kids and knitting content shortly...mostly depending on little brother's plans (we are officially at the "could be any time now" stage) and my general crankiness/will-to-live level (see "could be any time now").

23 August 2007

Farmer's Market Supper

Although we haven't been visiting Farmer's Market as regularly as last year, due to the combination of weather and Mama's will to live waxing and waning hourly, I have started trying to do Farmer's Market supper on Thursday night when we do go. Last week, we bought some zucchini, green pepper, onion, and garlic and made a stir fry with a little bit of beef we had had hanging out in the freezer (you know the type...too much to throw away, not really enough to make a main course). This week, we decided go with scrambled eggs and toast. I got the eggs from one of my local fiber pushers (I got my drop spindle at one of the events she holds at her farm last fall) and yes, two of those eggs are green! She only gets a few green ones, but she found a box with two since the kids were delighted by green eggs! Ummmm...I'm drooling for dinner already! We also sprang for a bag of squeaky cheese curds to eat with our supper. After all, this IS Wisconsin.

While we had our Farmer's Market treat (cookies and/or bars from the same place we got our bread from), Bean built a "snowman" out of the bark chips on the ground. Clearly, she has the polar bear genes that dominate her maternal line! Further confirmation is that after we got home, she announced in very somber tones that her snowman had "burned down." I'm thinking the two of us just need to set up residence in the frozen foods aisle of the local grocery store and be done with it.

20 August 2007


Yeah, yeah...I never did get around to posting any vacation pictures, but my dad has been working on editing and putting them together into a slide show right now. He sent this one to me and I just HAD to post it...

It is Bug playing with an interactive water display at the A.C. Gilbert Children's museum in Salem, OR and the group just captures Bug at four so well...intense, serious, curious, engaged, and, well, goofy as a loon and always making me chuckle. He is so like this whenever he plays...he takes the "work" of childhood very seriously...not that he doesn't have a lot of fun in the process, too.

Next up is birthday fluff. Kitty Daddy and the kids got me a gift certificate to the LYS near where KD works, so I combined some birthday money and went sock-happy. Some red, orange, and yellow socks with orange heels and toes. There should be enough of the heel and toe yarn left to make a pair of kid socks, too.

This is my other score, the color isn't great in the picture...it's more of a darker burgandy color, not nearly as bright purple as the picture shows. Since I have big feet (size 10!), 50 g socks tend to have fairly short cuffs, so I splurged on two 100 g skeins. That way I can have some socks that are a bit longer than anklets and probably get a pair of kid socks, too (can you say "fourth sock syndrome????)

Other than that we have been having rain, rain, and more rain. After being very dry...brown lawns, watering restrictions, and the whole nine yards...August has been just soggy. We are already past 10.25" for the month and both yesterday and the day before set records for precipitation amounts (2.13" and 3.39", respectively). The bright side is that things are much cooler, but the cool weather has come at a price of constant damp, a bumper crop of mosquitoes, near-constant flash-flood warnings, and an ever-increasing case of cabin fever.

And a couple of gratuitous kid pics. We have been looking through baby pictures in preparation for little brother's arrival. Here is Bug at one day with Daddy...

and Bean at three days old, tucked under Mama's arm...

ETA: Late Breaking news on the Rain front...I found this in a Special Weather Statement issued mid-afternoon on the 20th:

... Record August rainfall set in Madison...

Up through 1 PM CDT today... 10.50 inches of rain has fallen so far
in August at Truax field in Madison. This breaks the old record for
the month of August... which was 9.49 inches back in 1980.

10.50 inches also makes this the 4th wettest month ever in Madison.
Below is the list of heaviest calendar months in Madison history:

Jul 1950 10.93
may 2004 10.84
Sep 1915 10.69
Aug 2007 10.50 (so far)

Obviously, with 11 more days in the month and a wet pattern... it is
possible that August 2007 will become the wettest month ever in
Madison WI history.

From noon CDT Saturday August 18th to noon CDT Sunday August 19th
5.00 inches fell... which is the 3rd highest rainfall recorded in any
24 hour period at Madison.

In addition... records suggest that August 18th and 19th... with 5.52
inches of rain measured... was the 2nd wettest two day period in
Madison history. The wettest 2 day period is 5.79 inches set on may
31st and June 1st 2000.
Dude, the hydrologist in me is digging this...the tired, pregnant lady with the stir-crazy kids, not so much so.

14 August 2007


Yeah, I'm still here, but I have been nurturing my inner hermit. We have had a rough couple of weeks. The weather has been pretty typical August yuck...hot and unbearably humid, which is my least favorite weather. Add waddling, uncomfortable, and toes in my ribs and we are all working on a bit of cabin fever because I just can't bear to leave the house. We do manage to go swimming when we can, but the yucky weather has also been unsettled and stormy, so we have to skip the pool on those days.

In addition, we had to say goodbye to our little, orange Kitty Man last Friday. He hasn't been eating well since we got back from vacation in early June, which we attributed to the stress of us being gone and the hot weather, but he just kept losing weight. By the time we got him in to see the vet, his liver was in bad shape and he went downhill quickly. He was a sweet, affectionate (in a pathological, can't-take-no-for-an-answer kind of way) boy and will be missed. It's amazing that someone so little and orange can leave such a big hole.

Kitty Man (1998-2007)