Sunday, October 15, 2017

in the works

Guess who's coming back.

Last year I decided that 2017 must be The Year of the Roof.
My insurance company concurs.

After the very successful porch renovation project almost exactly three years ago - can you believe it? I had to check the date twice, but I started taking down the screenwalls in November 2014! - I definitely wanted the same Excellent Carpenter for this next major job.

Stepping back to 2014 for a moment:

my first carpenter/handyperson had to stop partway into the porch reno project due to the onset of severe carpal tunnel issues. (Happy ending: after months of waiting for an appointment, he ultimately had surgery and was completely relieved of all pain! Huzzah!) And meanwhile I was unbelievably lucky to find the Excellent Carpenter who was willing to step in and get the porch buttoned up in a very short timeframe.
And beautifully.


Okay, back to 2017.

When we spoke in March, the carpenter told me his first available slot would be sometime in October, and I said, "Please pencil me in. No, use INK." And as good as his word, he came out on the 5th to discuss details, as there is actually more to this project than replacing shingles or even replacing the roof. I've been doing a lot of planning and pricing and pondering and running around ever since. There have been unrelated complications: my vehicle was in the shop three separate days; medical issues (human, canine, feline, and caprine); and my Occasional Helper and I have had mostly out-of-sync schedules. Also, migraines. Oh well.

But after that meeting on the 5th, and some back-and-forth on the phone, and a follow-up visit at 7AM on this past Friday for final measurements, enough decisions have been made to Get On With Things. Tomorrow evening at 4:45 the carpenter and I are going to meet at my Town Hall (the Building Inspector has only 2 office hours/week) and apply to pull a Permit so work can begin on Tuesday.


Unless there's a problem with getting the Permit. There shouldn't be. But I mentioned the time so you can send good vibes if you happen to think of it. 5PM Eastern time. Thanks.

"Pull a permit" odd expression, isn't it? For filling out a form, presenting a plan that complies with local codes, and writing a check to the town? Tell me, do you need permission to replace, remodel, build anything over a certain size, where you live? If so, what is that process called? Are you also pulling something?

So, on we go. There will be lots of process/progress updates on this somewhat scarily major project. Hopefully beginning Tuesday!

Meanwhile, looking back on a moment of calm, Friday evening:

 Actually, it was more like two hours of calm.
In a stocktank filled with hot water.
Spa 2.0


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

rather wordy wednesday

New England asters!

Well, you know what this means...

1) Found the camera!
2) It is now Autumn!

Autumn is not a sad time for me, though I understand why many see it that way.
I feel it more as a beginning than an ending.

There's certainly plenty going on in the plant world.
Some plants are just beginning to blossom for the first time:

Others, like this Queen Anne's Lace,
are already investing most of their energy in the future:

Plants influence my daily activities in many ways. Collecting seeds. Arranging for the goats' food supply. Watching the candy roaster squash grow, and planning where to store them if they make it to storing size.

A new experiment: biting insects arrive before the jewelweed in the Spring, so next year I'm hoping jewelweed in the form of ice cubes will provide similar itch-relief as the fresh plants. Do me a favor? Next Spring, when I mention the blackflies and mosquitoes, please remind me that I did this. It is entirely possible I will forget what those little brown blocks are, tucked away in the freezer.

Speaking of the freezer, early Autumn is also the gastronomically interesting time when I try to identify and eat everything left in the chest freezer - lots of soups and berries this year - prior to defrosting and cleaning.

 All in preparation season!

I love Autumn.

Saturday, September 30, 2017


I've misplaced my camera. This is a rare occurrence, as I use it so often. By comparison, I misplace my cellphone every couple of weeks, and after a quick search, just wait to stumble over it somewhere. Not having the cellphone at hand is just a slight inconvenience.

But without a camera, my ability to communicate feels oddly restricted; like losing the power of speech. The camera is here at home, I think, and will likely be found soon - so fortunately, it's like losing the power of speech due to dental novacaine.

This morning I looked through the most recently downloaded images, hoping for a clue as to where I might have taken the camera next. No clue.

But I did find an image from a few days ago that seems appropriate for this post.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

thankful thursday

candy roaster squash, yesterday

candy roaster squash, today

The weather broke today, thank goodness and all the gods.

The past week has been very hot and stultifyingly humid, both day and night.
A/C cranking. Three fans in the house instead of the usual two, so Piper could have her own fan at night. By the third day of higher than 90 percent humidity, I had turned on the industrial-strength fans in the barns.

After morning chores which left me dripping sweat no matter slowly I moved - and believe me, I can move slowly - I sought respite in my spa.

My spa is an inflatable tub that you might think looks like a toddler wading pool in the shape of a bathtub, but it's NOT. It's a SPA. It says so right on the box.

Piper doesn't like it.
Here is the look on Piper's face when I am in the spa:

If you look closely, you'll see that Piper's concern at my insanely dangerous behavior does not interfere with her enjoying a good roll in the leaves.

There is a sort of cover that zips up across the top (another indication that this is not just some flimsy toy paddling pool, oh no), which helps if a person or an adventurous little cat requires a surface.

Moxie could tell right away that it's a spa.
Let the self-care begin!

A couple of times, I painted the scenery:

Once, I worked on a sock:

But today, this gloriously clear and fresh and fabulous day, all the windows in the house were open again and working outdoors was a pleasure. And Ms. Piper could enjoy rolling in the leaves without the nagging concern in the back of her mind:

if a human melts away into water and never come out again,
who will open the cans of food?