Friday, August 02, 2019

tonight there's a possibility of shooting stars, as it's kind of the season, with the perseids coming by and all. the perseids aren't until later, but but new moon is now, the sky is brighter, and there are a couple of other shooting star experiences coming by. in any case, i'm up late, because i had acid reflex and needed some cereal to settle things down. and i have a few things on my mind, so i'm writing.

i was in the village today, picking up old lumber from the rebuilt porch, and putting it in the back of my truck to bring out here. the workers had saved lumber that still had any integrity, but, a few weeks under that new porch in the village, and it has a lot less integrity. it's hard to tell what is rotten from a few weeks in the rains of the village, and what's rotten from being under a porch in the village, but in any case, a lot of it looked pretty bad.

but it was still flat, and big, and heavy. and the walk from the porch where they'd stored it, down to my truck, was steep and treacherous. it rained heavily the minute i got there, at noon; after that, it let up, but the path was still muddy. i'm an old guy now, sixty-five, and when i got to the larger boards, eight feet by four, roughly, i was a little over my head. but i walked carefully, and, after about three hours, i had a truck full of lumber.

out here, it's a little sunnier, fresher, drier. that lumber will dry out pretty fast, and be useful to me, as i'm putting walls on my shed. i'm being deliberate, taking the best piece of lumber one at a time, and trying to put walls all the way around, but now i'm in the laundry room, and actually, i can use quite a bit of this stuff. in some cases i can saw out the good parts and throw away the bad. i can still use it. if it never quite dries out, ok, then i guess i'll throw it away. not going to put moldy wood up on my walls.

so this whole moving thing has made me sore all over, especially my knees, which were under a lot of pressure getting down that steep muddy maybe sixty times. now that i'm here, less pressure, no steep slopes, but, i'm sore. i'm behind on my volunteer fire course (haven't even started), and it's been almost a month.

one of my favorite musicians is coming to town; he plays blues, and he's playing the brewery, but i can't go, because of the volunteer fire potluck. the volunteer fire is very important to me, though i haven't got started on the course, and i don't want to miss a potluck, as long as i'm wearing their hat, and carrying their radio around. but a more serious issue is this: i don't hear music very well these days. i've kind of lost my ability to hear the harmony of the notes, because it all sounds like it's coming through a swimming pool. i haven't figured out how to get all that congestion out of my nasal cavities and inner ear.

the construction is a fair compromise, because i can hang out by myself, in the shed, with the fan on back there, and i can measure wood and saw it and pound it, and i don't have to be extremely sensitive or vigilant to always find out what people are saying. i've wanted to do this kind of sawing, and drilling, and building, all my life, but i've never had the chance. now that i'm retired, it's a golden opportunity..

we're going through a heart-rending experience with one of our kids, who has occasional seizures. we feel it's best to both hang around and make sure he's ok all the time. it's heart-rending because it involves spoiling him, to some degree, and that kind of makes kids miserable. but school is about to start, and it's unlikely they'll spoil him as bad there. he'll be busy, and he'll come home tired. we're hoping he just fits right in and gets in the groove of the new year; he's a pretty good student and is popular, more or less. one can hope.

the drive out here is quite wild and has become important to me. we are about twenty miles from town, but it's over a steep mountain, and about four miles of that mountain road is still gravel, with a steep drop-off. i am not looking forward to the winter commute, but in the summer, it's glorious. it snakes through the national forest, and deer and elk skitter off the way as you go through. we watch the cars for people we know, but we're relatively new and don't know all the cars yet. cows are out in the open part; sometimes they're right in the road. this time of year, there are people hauling rv's up and down the canyon. some are hunters, looking for the chance to get out in the mountains. it's a remote valley, cut off from the world by that mountain and the national forest, but a lot of people still know it's out here and know there's good hunting out here. the deer gallop through the place like they own it.

it brings up the question of fences. surely, if i want to have horses here, i'll need fences. it'll be me, out there, with the barbed wire, patching up the edges of the property. barbed wire is bad for horses, they say, so maybe i'll need some more on top of that. barbed wire to keep the cows out, horse fence to keep the horses in. the deer, you just give up on, because they jump pretty much whatever they want anyway.

but i've made a tiny garden, and i started my fence-building with it; i put a small maybe 3 X 7 area in gardens. so far i have only potatoes and greenthread. the greenthread is for navajo tea, if it comes up; it becomes a wildflower with yellow flowers, and the tea is herbal and delicious. i have no idea if it will work up here. i have planted some in the open, in overturned dirt, and now in a fenced-in area just in hopes that the deer don't get it all at first shot, when it first arrives. i wouldn't put it past them. they get almost everyting else, if it's good.

and that brings up the fruit trees. the grand plan is to get some apricot trees going out here, and maybe some plums, and maybe some apples. kind of the traditional ones that have always done well in the mountains. i have a little meadow, and, if i can get started, now's the time. maybe i have enough fence to keep the deer out for a season or two.

and that's it. the deer here are not overpopulated, dying of wasting disease as they are in illinois. no, they have predators, like the cats, and the hunters, and that seems to work pretty well. lots of the locals just go out and pop one every once and a while, to keep their freezer full. i have yet to try it, but i will. the only thing i won't eat is rabbit; our rabbits are huge, and they're black, white, and silver, and not afraid of barking dogs, and anyway, i wear the leverett crest, with its three rabbits, on my stirt, because i'm a leverett, and that makes them family, and i won't eat them. but i'll try almost anything else.


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