Winter Storm Achilles and Oil of Peppermint Update

Today is May 2. Fifty miles west snow is falling. Accumulations of up to half a foot are forecast and we could get some here. In Lawrence it’s 35 degrees at noon with sleet and occasional snow. We need to travel northward, but it’s foolish to pull a trailer over ice. This is our third named winter storm in the past month. We caught Walda, Yogi, and now Achilles. The Midwest needs the rain; every reservoir we’ve seen is ten to twenty feet below capacity, making these spring storms a blessing for everybody but construction workers and tent campers. Trailers are a giant step up from tents: with an AC connection it’s cozy inside. Today we’ll do light housekeeping, play a little Robert Earl Keen, Merle Haggard, and David Allan Coe, while watching the weather.

Snow in Lawrence


Keen and Lyle Lovett were roommates at Texas A&M, and together they wrote The Front Porch Song. You can hear it here on YouTube:

In another YouTube version of Porch Keen tells his story of a kid in College Station going into Sears looking for a maroon belt. The kid was wearing an all-maroon outfit – pants, shirt, boots, and hat without a belt. The kid stepped up to a cashier and asked for a size 34 maroon belt. The cashier looked him over and observed: “You must be an Aggie.” Excited, the kid says “Yeah, how’d you know?” Cashier shook his head and said, “This here is the Lawn and Garden Department.”

A&M is a great school. Wish I could say I wuz an Aggie. But no, I wouldn’t have survived the Corps. It was mandatory back in the day, and the first two years of torture would have run me off. Looking back on the road not taken I can see a transfer to Southwest Texas State in San Marcos. There I would escape the paramilitary discipline and spend weekends at Aquarena Springs watching Ralph the Diving Pig.

Oil of Peppermint Update

I reloaded the cotton balls last week. We have seen zero evidence of rodent activity since we deployed peppermint oil Yesterday ants moved in. They dislike the smell (bring a little of it near them and watch ‘em panic) but they don’t dislike it enough to leave. We killed a bunch the old fashioned way to end the problem. Oil of peppermint helps but is no panacea of pest control.

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