What a weekend

The pictures I put up on Friday were just a taste of what we experienced during our first "storm" up here on the mountain. Remember that branch I said was resolutely guarding the Subaru? Well, it didn't do as good a job as I'd liked. About 2 hours after the picture was taken, I noticed that there were some big branches on the roof of the guest house (behind the Subaru) and that the cupola was gone. Here's a last glimpse of that bit of architecture:

See the little cupola sticking out from behind the carport? Ok, maybe you can't - but rest assured that it was *there* when that picture was taken. Anyway, the loss of the cupola was enough to persuade Chris to pull on his foul weather gear (thank the patron diety of man-made fabrics for Gore-Tex!) and head out to ensure that there wasn't a torrent of water in our proto-cottage.

After a short dash, and an even shorter disappearance into the cottage, he came back out and headed for the house. That led him to actually *LOOK* at the back of the car. What did he see? Well, basically that feared localized monsoon wasn't in the cottage - it was in the rear cargo area of the wagon. The passenger tail light assembly was also in pieces and the rearmost glass on that same side was shattered (but intact - initially). After a retreat back in to the house and some furious strategizing, we headed back to the cottage, retrieved a Big Blue Tarp (tm) and put it around the lift gate. Chris accidentally bumped the side glass and that caused a good chunk of it to cave in. Ah well. Problem solved, for now.

Power was out by this time, along with internet and also the phones. Cell service is spotty but we managed to open a claim with the insurance company and persuade the local dealership (7 miles and 2000' of elevation away) to take it and park it out of the rain. We battled window and door leaks (water coming in UNDER the thresholds), wrangled with the generator and marveled at the sheer force of the elements for most of the day. When it finally slowed down, we headed down the hill and put the car in capable hands.

Power has since come back as of about 1p on Sunday - and we're reveling in the cozy warmth of the furnace and a renewed appreciation for hot water. (electric hot water heater high on replacement list) No one was injured, no one died and we also managed to throw our annual 12th night party without the help of utilities.

2008 is certainly looking to be an interesting year.

Holy storm, Batman!

My first post of the year is one that's also quite fitting given our new house. Shortly after we bought the place, we enjoyed a bottle of wine on the deck with neighbors and spent quite a bit of time talking about the "big storms" that come "a roarin'" over the ridge in the winter time. However, over the past few years, Northern California has taken a bit of a break from heavy winter weather so I wasn't too concerned about it.

Big mistake.

Yesterday, the first of three SERIOUS storms came "a roarin'" through the Bay Area and we're currently smack dab in the middle of the worst one. Winds have been gusting above 80mph a the weather station just down the road (click on the weather station tag in the right nav bar) and it's raining to beat the band. Now the sun has come up, here's what the cars look like:

Love that branch on the Subaru! Chris gets full marks for re-parking in the rain last night as I'd backed the car in to help with unloading. The luggage rack is also doing a fine job holding that branch off the side windows.

So, that's all well and good for the driveway - but what about that great ocean view, you might ask. Well, he's what that mess looks like:

Yeah, it's a wild day. We had power up until about 7a this morning (bouncing quite a bit, I might add) and now it's truly gone. UPS is hanging in there, but we've only got about 1/2 an hour left.

Wind's a blowing, fireplace is a burnin' and candles are a flickerin'. Thank goodness the stove is gas.

Happy New Year everyone!