Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Woofing Wednesday: Enjoying My Rainy Days

Today (I am writing this post a bit early for its publication date) I am marveling that, after a year-long drought, which has left our lake in a shriveled state, we finally have begun to emerge into puddledom (translation: land of puddles), thanks to Tropical Storm Fay. For nearly 3 days now, Fay has been raining on us, while she sits just off the coast of Daytona Beach, slowly edging toward the North Northwest.

Considering our need for water, the rain is welcome, although my dogs have not enjoyed their outings to “take care of business.” Well, actually, Tanner, the Golden Retriever, has enjoyed the showers immensely. I can hardly get him to come inside, as he would rather play in the puddles than hang out in the house. Oliver and Xena, on the other hand, have rushed through their job outside, and drug me back into the house, begging to be dried off. Toweling off my dogs is rather akin to a massage. If they could Ooo and Ahhh they would, as they press their bodies into the towel, enjoying every bit of the game we call Dry the Doggie. And thus the picture of a very wet Tanner leads off my Woofing Wednesday post, followed by one in which he is pleading with me to allow him to play in the puddle.
The good news is that Fay has reestablished some of Florida’s dry waterways and thirsty landscape, which will also help our Florida crops reap healthier harvests. So, hurray for Fay!

Only recently my post, Thursday's Green Tip-Toe: 10-Minute Water Saving Ideas, offered many simple options for reducing the use of the wet stuff. Right now I wish I had more than one rain barrel, as my one was filled in the first ½ hour of rain, which has continued for days. I could have saved enough to water all the potted plants in my suburban town, if only I had enough rain barrels. Tisk! I urge you all to think about adding one to your garden. To this end, I’m including some links to websites where you can check out the options. It appears that you can spend as little at $50 or, well, the sky's the limit. Have fun shopping:

In my post for Monday, August 25, you'll find a photograph of my rain barrel. It is hand painted (thanks to my sister-in-law, Jan) with a garden scene that is quite pleasant and fits nicely into the garden-like porch area where it is located. It is plastic and I believe many of those you find in the sites above can also be hand painted, if you are so inclined.

One tip I’d like to share is that many rain barrel makers/sellers suggest you attach a downspout to your rain barrel. This might drive potential customers away, as it starts to sound like a lot of work to install one. My approach was simpler. I placed it underneath a gutter and drilled a 1-inch hole in the bottom of the gutter, directly above the screened top of the rain barrel. Viola! No installation necessary.

One final tweek you might choose to do (optional, of course) is to drill a small hole just below the top of the rain barrel lid attachment. This hole will serve as an overflow. This way the overflow doesn’t come over the top, possibly lifting the screen out with it. That screen is important to keeping bugs from breeding in the water you collect. Since I live in Florida and our state bird is the mosquito, this is an important consideration. Those of you who reside out West may not be as concerned. Good luck in your rain barrel hunting, and PLEASE leave a comment if you find out anything interesting.
Tomorrow I have a surprise bargain-basement lunchbox to share with you, in the wake of concerns about the cost of the Bento-boxes, which are all the rage now. I found this and many other varieties of compartmented lunchboxes at Target, for less than a third of the cost of the popular Bentos I found online. Let's see what's out there that is within your budget.


Anonymous said...

How cute is Tanner!!!
Charlie hates the rain, but loves the snow! :-)

Thanks for the rain barrel links!

Carrie J. Boyko said...

I cannot imagine how my dogs would react to snow; they have never even seen it. Our Winters are so warm, that Tanner swims EVERY day of the year.

As for the rain barrels, I'd like to add another, as I often run out of rain water in my 80 gallon barrel between rains during our droughts. So, I'll be shopping too. Thanks for the comment.

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