Category Archives: Mini-Rancho

Chills and thrills

Tis 23 degrees at Neely’s Canyon in Austin with more ice and snow on the way. Forecast says 10 by tomorrow morning. 7 by Tuesday morning. And, naturally, I’m out of cigarettes. A good time to quit? Or to make a slow and careful “run” to the nearby drugstore.

UPDATE: Chickened out. Too cold out there. I’m going to make one pack last four days.

MORE: It didn’t. But there’s enough snow in the parking lot to keep me inside. Plus the nearest stores are closed. I’m just imagining it’s a series of 12-hour flights to Israel and savoring how good it will taste when I finally get one.

Power outage

For 12 hours overnight from yesterday afternoon. Back on this morning. Ice accumulation on the power lines, apparently, or nearby trees falling on them. Indeed, all night we heard trees falling in the canyon from ice accumulation. Waiting for full daylight to see the carnage.

Bitter cold

Thermometer is hovering around 31 degrees, with rain and wintery mix and icing expected according to the National Weather Service. Tomorrow and Saturday-Sunday expected to be even colder, dipping into the 20s and teens. Good for killing hibernating bugs such as scorpions. But potentially bad in the form of power outages from the ice on the lines.

UPDATE: Local news reporting a 26-car pileup on a highway near us on the edge of the Hill Country. Police “begging” drivers “to drive to the conditions.” Ha! Fat chance.

Rain, rain, rain

Boy, we’ve had a lot of it the past few days. Even got some city-wide flash flooding of streets and streams. Nice, though, after almost two months of hundred degree days and no rain.

Rain at last

We finally broke the weeks of 100-degree days, and today we got a thunderboomer and steady rain. Cracks of thunder, like artillery outgoing, startling! The rain keeps on coming. KXAN’s radar app shows we’re getting lots of solid green and an occasional red. This is how Texas droughts end. Sweet.

Windows and bugs

Yesterday we had a young window washer from Gwyndows come do the outside and (mostly) inside of the mini-rancho’s windows for a reasonable price. He missed a few spots on some windows, but for the most part, he did a splendid job and we are grateful.

Today, this afternoon, Bugmaster is coming to do the whole place, mostly the baseboards, because we’ve seen a few, little spiders and millipedes. And we don’t like ’em. We figure the scorpions are staying out because they’re desert creatures and it’s in the triple digits. But come the fall and temperatures dropping, they will come inside to get warm, or maybe have a warm place to hibernate. Plus they love spiders. So we need to deny them a food supply by getting rid of bugs! So they’ll go somewhere else.

Vinegar vs bleach

With AC’s running full tilt this August in Central Texas, there’s the vinegar vs bleach debate for keeping AC condensation drainage lines open. The HVAC guys who installed our Lennox said to use a cup of bleach every month. Guys in Neely’s Canyon say on our email forum they prefer vinegar. Bleach is said to wear down PVC tubing faster.

I already used bleach for this month. So, preferring not to add acid to a base (and get a very mini but potentially unpleasant Beirut effect), I’ll wait until bleach time next month to switch to vinegar.