Yeah, you read it right. I'm not enjoying it. And by "it" I mean the garden and the chickens. All of this rain has meant taking care of both has turned into a chore that I dread each day. Funny how I enjoyed both last week and this week I'm ready to kick everything in the back yard to the curb.
The back yard is flooded. I think we've had over 10 inches of rain in one week. Granted some areas just north of here have had 24 inches in one week and there are roads and schools closed. But 10 inches of rain means the entire back yard is flooded with some areas having about 6 inches of standing water, our pool overflowed and our septic is making us nervous with bubbly digestive gurgles in the back yard.
We can't go out back without the dog getting soaked, the boys getting soaked from head to toe, requiring a full change of clothes when we get in, and me getting soaked from overly-enthusiastic splashing boys. The novelty of this for me wore off after the first day. We're on day 5 now. The novelty of this has not worn off for the boys or the dog.
When you wade over to the chickens you discover that this much rain turns their coop into a stinky-soupy-poopy-cesspool. I had to go to the feed store to buy another bale of hay because their tarp-covered bale of hay is now floating in our wheelbarrow. Their coop has hardwire sides to keep them cool in the oppressive Florida heat, but this ingenious solution means the rain gets in too. I spent close to 2 hours yesterday scraping out gobs of floating hay and poo, digging out clumps of wet chicken food from their feeder and scooping out bucketfuls of heavy, wet shavings from their transportation box (more on this later). Keep in mind I'm doing this while it's pouring with rain and I'm standing in about 4 inches of water. I finally left the coop dry and clean and was thoroughly exhausted when I was finished, but glad I wouldn't have to do anything like that again for a long time.
Last night I got smart and threw a huge tarp over the coop, but left one little part open so the chickens didn't get overheated while they slept. I knew they'd enjoy their first night in a dry coop all week. After hours of procrastination, I waded out there late this morning to discover that the little part I'd left open for them to get fresh air was just enough to make the coop look exactly like it did the day before. Exactly like it did the day before. Exactly. I can't begin to tell you the level of dismay I felt when I saw that. It took a lot of willpower not to grab the chickens and chuck them over the fence into our neighbors yard to mingle with their flock.
Then I waded over to the garden to see how it was holding up. The okra seedlings look quite pretty reflecting so perfectly in the puddle of water that has formed around them. The peas look like they're working on their suicide note and will soon be compost-bound. And you already read about my #&%@! cracked tomatoes. I don't even want to get in there and pull any weeds because my boot squelches down several inches when I step onto our nutrient-free soil, so I think it's best I stay out and watch it drown from a distance.
Before you think I'm really ready to throw in the towel, please know that I've read enough Hallmark cards and listened to enough Country music to know that things always get better after the rain, that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger, that if you can get though this, you can get through anything, that the sun will come out tomorrow... and that no matter what I'll still have the dog and the truck at the end of the day.