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Could it get any hotter?

I'm not really complaining after all the rain we've had but did it have to get to 100+ degrees overnight? And of course on the hottest day of the year so far, what was I doing? Cleaning canvas teepee covers that's what.

Johnie and I actually volunteered for this. This is what happens when you have a bunch of well meaning people who want something but don't really know how to take care of it. Two teepees were purchased last year by our tribe to place on our newly purchased property in NC. So how is it that Indians don't know how to take care of teepees you ask? Because most Indians don't grow up with teepees anymore. They are largely something you haul around with you to live in during pow wows if you own one at all. The thought was we'd put them up and tribal members could camp in them when they were in the area or we could hold our quarterly Council meetings in them.

But it was someone's job to waterproof them before Winter which didn't get done. And then it was someone else's job to clean them and keep them repaired which didn't get done even after Johnie and I told them how to clean them and waterproof them and this could have all been done while they were still standing. *sigh* so we volunteered to bring them back to Illinois after the last Council Meeting and get them cleaned up and repaired. We both have some experience with this and had a good idea of how to do it. We've just never dealt with canvas that has been let go for so long. We learned as we went along and tried new things. The solution we finally arrived at was to get the surface dirt off by spraying on a solution of water, Pine Sol and weak bleach and then washing it off with a high pressure sprayer.

Afterwards we rolled it up and soaked it overnight in a 55 gallon drum of water and a stronger bleach solution. This was the end result. Not good as new but much better than it was. In fact this is about the color most of them usually get after a few years anyway.

The second cover was far worse even though it sat right next to the other one all Winter. Plus the canvas was mouse eaten and very thin in some places. But I was able to get it pretty clean.




On that one, I sprayed it with a stronger solution of Pine Sol, water and bleach and let the sudden rain storm wash it off. This week, Johnie is taking both covers to a local Amish family who specializes in canvas repair and they will put patches on all the holes.

Speaking of storms, we had a doozey on Saturday evening. At 6:16 pm this was the temperature outside with about 80 % humidity.

By 6:45 the temps had dropped to the high 80's. Then the sky started changing colors rapidly.

And the storm clouds started to just form out of the disturbed air.

When that happens in this country you start looking around for funnel clouds. Luckily we just got a hell of a hard and fast storm. 4 inches of rain in an hour.

And then as the storm was passing me by, the lightning started out back in my fields.

I have a bad history with lightning having been struck or nearly struck at least 6 times. So rather than wander out to the fields on foot, I drove my farm truck and parked it at the entrance to the field lane. The lightning was in the distance at first but then the storm turned when it saw me sitting there and roared back with a vengeance. I saw a few wispy streaks of lightning form from the ground up within a few hundred feet of me so I slammed the truck in reverse and was backing up when I saw a flash from above and hit the shutter on my camera. This is what I got as I was essentially trying to save my own ass.

Whew! That was close. I spent much of the rest of the night watching fireflies from my porch and listening to the distant thunder as the storm passed. It did break that heat wave at least.

Sunday Johnie and I took a field trip to the house of an old eccentric friend of his named Ivan. Ivan is a collector. What does Ivan collect? Mostly classic cars. He fixes them when he gets around to it and then drives them to car shows but he never sells them. Some of the things he has are a collectors dream and you'd never guess you would see a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or a Jag out under some machine shed roof in the middle of nowhere. But there they were.

Harley Davidson Sprint

Later we went to Quincy together to pick up windows. When we got back we took my S-10 from the one mechanic who had done nothing with it since February over to the other mechanic (a block away) who hopes to do something with it this week. And then I rode the train back to the city and stopped at my favorite bar for a couple drinks. Met a pot smoking drunk who has plans to rob 3 banks in one day. Good luck with that!

I'm off Friday, which is good because we have 4 fireworks shows to do this weekend starting with Friday night at Mt. Sterling. Sunday is my only free day and I'll probably have to mow my lawn so not really free. Then next Friday is another artist reception in Monmouth. I need to attend because I have 4 photos in the show. Hope I win something for them. And the next day after that is the Annual party.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!




( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful weather. We only get thunderstorms here about once a year because of the shape of the valley with the mountains, and I miss them. I used to love going to sleep to the sound of thunder.

There's a powwow here in Arlee this weekend. I think I'd like to go and take some photographs. There's a rich Native American culture here (Flathead mostly, some Blackfeet) and I don't get nearly enough exposure to it.
Jul. 1st, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Pow Wow's are fun especially if you can meet some people and get to talking with them. I love the midwest for it's storms. We get some pretty violent ones at time. I'd miss them too.

Jul. 1st, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Could be worse.
The other day I saw a teamof men laying asphalt out in the middle of a very hot day. Those are the dudes I feel for.


Jul. 1st, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Could be worse.
Yeah, a friend of mine does that all day. But gets paid damned well for it too sooo.

Jul. 1st, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Impressive cleaning of those teepees. It sounds like hard work under extreme conditions. :P At least you got some amazing photos out of it!

And I love the photos you shared, especially the ones of those amazing clouds and the lightning! It is so difficult to get a good shot of lightning... I'm just glad you didn't get zapped!
Jul. 1st, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Best way to get lightning and I forgot to do it this time is use a tripod. Set your DSLR on the night setting and then click the shutter open. It will stay open until it has enough light to tickle the sensor. That usually happens when the lightning flashes. I've gotten some really good storm shots like this.


Jul. 2nd, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Do you like storm pictures? Here's our local guy: http://www.gographics.com/lightning/

I just got a new camera today so maybe I'll have impressive storm shots in the future. I went to one of his talk/slide shows once and he gets closer to the lightning than I intend.
Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
Well I love to take storm pictures anyway. As I said, I've had some experiences with lightning so I try not to get too close but I've gotten some awesome shots just the same like these.

Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
Man, that is SWELTERING heat. Nice work on the tepees!

I love the way the sky changes before a storm there. I wish you didn't have such a bad history with lightning; it would be great if you could actually ride it, and that photo of the really close strike is amazing.

Those old and restored autos are HEAVEN to look at. Um, I kind of see what you mean about the chainsaws, that's a whole lot of them. They look more innocuous in the context of a group. I am especially curious about the buggy/coach-looking vehicle - what is that?
Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Are you reffering to the Green thing or the turn of the century black cars. One is a Dodge I know.

Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
Sorry, was referring to the fifth picture in that section - it's rusty, outside, with what looks like an "equipment" road sign propped against the right rear wheel.
Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
That's a McCormick Deering Tractor which goes pretty far back in the 1900's. It was before they used rubber wheels. They just had steel wheels with big lugs on them to keep traction in the soil. The sign says something about No Steel Lug Wheels on the road. They could be run on dirt and gravel roads going from farm to farm but not on asphalt or concrete as the lugs would tear the roads up.

Jul. 2nd, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Amazing! I sort of wish there was a dirt-bike with wheels like that.
Jul. 2nd, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)
Is this where I brag about how it's not gotten above the high 80s/low 90s up here?

Those cars are amazing. What's the one with the buffalo symbol on it?
Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
It's a Kaiser & Frazer. Both those cars in that photo are. They tried to compete with the Big 3 back in the late 40's and early 50's. They made it until the early 60's when Ford bought them out. You don't see them very often. And it has too gotten into the 90's there. The weekend we were there for the Council it was 93 and hotter than f**k.

Jul. 2nd, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Yes, but the humidity is low and that makes all the difference.
Jul. 3rd, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
I think I love the man that collects.

Lightening. Saving of ass. We share this.

Tepees. In Lenoir?
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah the teepees belong in Lenoir and they will return in the Fall but we brought them to Illinois to clean them. It was just easier then spending an extra day in Lenoir cleaning them.

Jul. 9th, 2009 05:41 am (UTC)
Those lightning photos are AMAZING! I've never seen lightning that thick/wide before.
Jul. 9th, 2009 05:59 am (UTC)
I try not to get that close. I'd say it was less than half a mile from me.

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )