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Wontolla's Hollow

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13th January 2016

7:52pm: More crossing work, road cleanup, trail chopping.
Work is progressing on the crossing, they are getting the forms in and have started adding rebar. They are storing the water pumps back in my yard at night, so they don't go a wandering. The downside of that is that I will have to get up earlier than I want to open the gate in the morning.

For the majority of my walk today I went up the road to clean the trash. I found a lot of beer cans, but way less trash. Later I went for another couple of laps around the big pasture bringing the grand total for the day to 5 miles. I got less trail chopping done as a result, but am still making progress. It's a challenge to come up with a route that doesn't require tree removal, while still making a significant lessening of the degree of slope angle.

Speaking of calculation, I took the Meyer's Briggs again today, it's been several years. INTJ, just like every other time I have taken it. It's still always a surprise when I get that result, because I keep hearing how rare it is, especially in females. This quote about the INTJ personality has me all over it though. "80 Percent of my conversations with others occur inside my head." -.-

Thinking about going out for supplies tomorrow, but I'd really rather not. I am usually left with the feeling that I have lost a day when ever I go out.

12th January 2016

11:09pm: Dog sitting, crossing progress, unexpected visitors, tire cutting, new trail.
My stint of dog sitting for the neighbors ended late Saturday. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed having the hollow all to myself for a week. With traffic stopped and the neighbors gone, it was very peaceful here for the most part. Early in the week I noticed their outside dog shivering in the cold when went over to feed in the morning. Her "doghouse" was a kids playhouse I gave them years ago, the one the former owner of my house used as a tree stand. It has no floor and the poor dog was sleeping on the damp bare ground. I took a ratty blanket and one of my doghouses over (left over from years ago when I thought I might leave Rain and Shadow in the kennel overnight occasionally or in an emergency). I was worried that she wouldn't use it, but she was in it the next morning. I am glad she has someplace warm and dry to sleep now. I was thinking of donating the house to the Haven, but she needs it more.

The construction crew came over briefly last week, and then they were out there in full force today. They are digging for the first pouring and putting the forms together. I am trying not to hover. I had to ask last week though if they place the dug to originally was as deep as they were going to go. Thankfully not. It looks like they really will dig deep enough for the slab. They also came and got their trailers out of my yard which is nice. They brought along a pump and are pumping the water out of the hole as they dig. Even with the construction noise during the day, it's so peaceful here at night that I am in no hurry for them to finish.

I left the gate open for them to get their trailers, which resulted in my having uninvited guests over in the afternoon. Turned out to be my neighbor from the 200 acres who sent a letter in Dec asking if it was for sale. He might be interested, but I do not think he wants to pay what I am asking.

Prowling the after Christmas sales, I found a reciprocating saw on super mark down, that uses the same batteries I already have. With great glee I cut the sidewalls off a tire someone had dumped on the road. I dragged a couple small tires home from the dump and cut them up too. Yay! Now I can get rid of all those tires stacked up there. The transfer station will take them with the sidewalls removed. Of course the hoarder part of me thinks I should be saving them to make an earthship. -.-

It's been kind of cold to be working in the dump, so I am cutting a couple of new switchbacks into my trail up to the big pasture. My knee has been getting a bit cranky going down the steeper parts, so I am going for a gentler slope. Love my rogue hoe, it really makes the job pleasant.

13th April 2015

10:39am: April is here, car, visitors, bridge.
First off I finally settled with the insurance co, and have my payment for the car. They paid me the $5000, no buy back, no salvage title, no deductible. As soon as my car is ready, I can just put the plates back on and drive it away. I would have held out for more, but after looking at the car and driving it, I am keeping it, and the repairs will be less than the settlement. I can't wait to have it back. The truck has been great, but it's steadily getting warmer, and I need the AC for Andre.

My sister and niece arrived last Monday the 6th and left on on Sat the 11th. The week prior was pretty much consumed with guest prep, and trying to get some work done around here. I got a bit more work done on my trail, and worked on filling the hole in the creek crossing.

When my guests got here we had a very lovely week, poor Sophia did go down with food poisoning from the restaurant we ate at after their arrival, but thankfully was only sick for less than a day. We spent the first couple of days of their visit here on the farm, and then the next on outings. I finally got to see War Eagle Cavern, and it was beautiful. LOTS of pipistrelle bats, and a lovely cave. It sits on a very scenic branch off of beaver lake. Looking at the bats, they are the same type as in my cave. I loved how the owners were so solicitous of the bats, they seem very conscientious caretakers of their cave.

On Friday we went over to Eureka Springs, and I was treated to an early birthday lunch, and a pair of new kitchen tools! It was an absolutely beautiful day, and after dinner we went for a walk up to the high pasture and watched the sunset.

On Saturday I took them to the airport. On the way we stopped at a vintage market and a quilt show. Of the two, I think I enjoyed the quilt show more, the vintage market was a bit of a disappointment after all the hype it got.

Saturday I did a kitchen purge of the vast pile of leftovers and just generally put the house back in order. Yesterday I finished filling in the creek crossing, so I could go and brush hog the rest of the barn pasture and get the lawn mower mounted on the tractor. As always I felt somewhat guilty mowing down all the small trees in the pasture, but I do have some I've left to grow, and they are healthier for not being crowded. Getting the attachments swapped was the usual PITA, but less than I feared given my less than active winter and spring. I guess I haven't deteriorated too much, I slung around my sister's 55lb suitcase without much problem.

I am back in the middle of the bridge wars. I noticed that the concrete on the bridge had eroded off the second layer down to the clay fill, so I sent a letter to the commission troll, and over the winter he had apparently just decided to go ahead and fight me, after seeming to agree to a compromise last fall. So be it.

27th September 2014

7:14pm: Reason for the absence.
The last three weeks or so have been, well, pretty hellish.

A short summary before the particulars. Andre got Giardia, resulting in massive bloody diarrhea and a trip to the vet. I was told that the root canal I had a year and a half ago has "failed" and I have an abscess in my jaw. While I was at the VA getting this news, the local road commission showed up here on the creek crossing. My neighbor went out to talk to them and was brushed off, with the news that they plan to build the bridge/dam higher, which will without any doubt flood me, and would probably result in the eventual destruction of my driveway. They also announced that they already had all the materials, and had hired a contractor.
More if you want the details.Collapse )

16th August 2014

10:38am: Robin Williams
I would like to say that I was shocked by Robin Williams' suicide, but I have always seen the sadness behind his eyes. It's there behind the eyes of many comedians, as a group, they have a fairly high suicide/self destruct ratio.

Shortly after my own mother's suicide, I went to see a movie starring Robin Williams called "What Dreams May Come". I was not aware of the theme of the movie, only that it was being praised for it's amazing special effects. I was stunned to find out that the central theme was not only about the redemption after death of a suicide, but also there was a scene where there was a funeral with the exact same casket that I had picked out for my mother. This was not a common model, it was an all wood casket with carved handles that I hadn't seen before or since. The movie has haunted me ever since, and it was the first thing I thought of when I learned of Robin's death.

I hope he is at peace, and not in the lonely and desolate grey land depicted in the movie. My own recent battles with panic and anxiety have given me a much clearer and more compassionate view of that grey wasteland. Day in, day out suffering can drive you down roads that you never thought you would take.

27th July 2014

11:23am: Journal change
I just wanted to let friends who read my journal know, that I have resorted to making my journal friends only. I've been getting a small amount of random unwanted crap postings, and so I've changed it before it gets any worse.

24th July 2014

12:39pm: Car fixed, high winds.
Yesterday I took the car up to get it serviced and then in to get the windshield chips fixed. I found a second smaller chip yesterday, and they added that into the repair for only $10 more. They are still noticable, but hopefully this will keep the windshield from cracking. I wish now though that I had done it myself, I found a great video online how to do it, and I honestly think I would have done a better job.

While I was out there was a freak windstorm, almost like micro bursts, a front must have gone through, it's much cooler today.

12th July 2014

11:17pm: Day 8 Last day in Billings.
Spent the day running errands in Billings. Lots of drama when Chad got a flat and then got pulled over by a cop when he had the spare on and the truck was wobbly. Apparently there was some sort of beer festival going on that day and they thought he was drunk. We also went to an arts festival which was very nice.

Except for a the cop incident, a peaceful last day for me in Billings.

11th July 2014

10:52pm: Day 7 Melted road, Fire Hole falls, Old Faithful, back to Billings.
Back in the park for our last day. We started out by waiting around for more tourist buying in Gardiner, and then MORE in the park. I went back to the more crowded part of Mammoth to see that part of the area while the others shopped.

When they caught up, we headed for Norris springs, the place we had looked for the previous night. Turns out that the road was melted from volcanic activity and we couldn't go in without about a mile hike. Needless to say, we didn't go.

Chad then lead us up to fire hole falls, which was gorgeous, and then on to Old Faithful.

We arrived there in time to see the geyser go off. It was not as impressive as I expected. We split up and agreed to meet back in about an hour and a half. The rest of the group then wandered off to the tourist shops again and I went out on the boardwalk to look at more of the hot springs activity. I could feel the heat of the boardwalk through my shoes, so I didn't go very far with Andre. Then I spotted a trail that went up to observation point. It was shaded and much cooler so Andre and I headed up another small mountain.

The view from the top was gorgeous. I learned from another hiker that the geyser was due to go off soon, so I decided to wait for that. And wait and wait, and wait. Finally about 10 minutes outside the window for it go off, it finally blew. This time it was spectacular. A huge fountaining jet. I was late for my rendezvous so Andre and I almost jogged down the mountain and speed walked back to the visitor center.

Then we all piled in our cars and headed out of the park. A long drive back through some very pretty country, and then on to the cabin Susan had rented in Billings.

10th July 2014

10:22pm: Day 6 Room drama, hot springs, Buffalo encounter.
Everyone got up pretty late in the morning. After packing up, we went down to breakfast at the lodge. Then everyone else went to go sit in the hot springs, and I went on a hike with Andre up the mountain behind the resort. There was a small lake near the top and it was a very nice hike.

We hit the road sometime around noonish, and headed back to the park. After more obligatory tourist shopping in Gardiner (-.-) we went into the park.

First stop was the Mammoth Hot Springs. Lots of bubbling pools, mineral formations and steaming water. Chad says though that it is much reduced from when he worked there. After that, we headed back into town to get our rooms for the night.

Uh oh. Somehow the reservation that April and I made the night before, was for the wrong days. Suddenly we were without anywhere to stay for the night. Fortunately the owner of the place where we were supposed to stay suggested the owner of one of the hotels as having a house for rent. We were able to get that for one night instead of the two we had planned.

Once we got that all arranged, we headed into the park again to see another area that Chad recommended. Chad worked for a summer at the park after he graduated from High School, so he knows all the best spots. We stopped to take pictures a couple of times and then ran into road construction. We decided to turn around at that point, since we didn't want to get stranded when they closed the roads at 11.

On the way back we stopped for wildlife in the road. It was getting quite dark at this point. Suddenly a HUGE buffalo loomed out of the darkness, strolling down the opposite lane of the road like something out of Jurassic Park. He looked in my car with a look that said very clearly, "Just start something, anything, I DARE you. After passing my car he cut between my car and the car behind us, while I expected a crashing impact at any second. FANTASTIC!

9th July 2014

10:11pm: Day 4 and 5. Billings, Beartooth Pass, Yellowstone.
On Tuesday we stayed in Billings and got ready to go on to Yellowstone. Shopped, and then went to a park with Pictographs. Another nice hike with Andre and the kids. In the evening we hiked along the Yellowstone river.

On Wednesday we took off for Yellowstone. We went over Beartooth Pass. We stopped at the top to marvel at the July snow, still fairly thick up there. After crossing the pass, I had my only good restaurant meal of the trip, at a cafe in the pass. Then we entered the park on the west side.

We travelled across the northern part of the park, along a road that has a huge amount of the wildlife activity, through big herds of bison and elk. There was a buffalo fight at one point, thankfully a bit of a distance from our cars. We headed from there through the main part of the park and then on to look for our lodgings at Chico Hot Springs. After some considerable searching we found it and settled in for the night in our cabin.

7th July 2014

9:53pm: Day 3, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, Billings.
Was awakened in the middle of the night by a tremendous crash as a mountain storm rolled through. In the morning, one of the patio umbrellas was bent in half.

After breakfast, we headed for the Crazy Horse Monument. I was fascinated and very impressed by it. We hadn't originally intended going there, but it was right on the way to Rushmore, so we decided to stop there the night before.

In scale and subject I much preferred it to Mt. Rushmore. Very impressive as the work of a single family. They had a bin of rocks from the monument, and I took one away with me. My favorite souvenir from the trip.

Rushmore has the more impressive lead up, and was much more crowded, but since all 4 heads could fit into the Crazy Horse statue, it was kind of a let down. I did get a chance to take a nice walk with Andre though on a trail that ran along the bottom of the mountain and then looped back around.

A long drive later we arrived for the night in Billings. I took Andre for a walk, while the rest of the group met up at Applebees. Apparently there were two restaurants they liked to eat at. Cracker Barrel and Applebees. Neither of which had much I could eat. Spent a very hot night at Chad and Carrie's apartment, thankfully I brought my small fan, since nobody in Montana believes in AC.

6th July 2014

3:11pm: Day 2 Corn Palace, 1880's town, Wall Drug, Bavarian Inn.
We stayed overnight in Mitchell SD, and in the morning we went to the Corn Palace. It is an arena decorated all in corn. Very touristy, but it was kind of interesting.

Shortly after leaving there, we started to see signs for Wall Drug. Apparently a huge tourist trap in SD. Very reminiscent of "South of the Border" on the east coast. Miles and miles of billboards telling of all the wonders to be found at Wall Drug.

Before we reached that promised land of touristy nirvana, we stopped at the 1880's Town. Authentic old buildings out on the prairie. I liked it very much. It was interesting how small most of the buildings were, both for smaller people, and to conserve resources and labor. One of the cabins reminded me of the Tiny House movement. We had lunch in the train that the town uses as a diner.

Back down the road, and Wall drug was just as touristy as promised. I picked up some fossils to give my nieces, but mostly resisted the place.

Arriving in the Black Hills, we located our hotel room, and settled in for the night.

5th July 2014

2:51pm: Off! (After the chaos that is). Day 1
Took off today on my road trip with Susan and family to see Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone.

I got out of the house in fairly good order, except running back in the house once to make sure the toilets were flushed.

I was supposed to meet Susan and family at a restaurant north of Kansas City. I was trying to call them to see what time they thought they were going to be there and my calls kept going to voice mail. Finally I pulled off the road, and tried texting. The first message I got was that Susan's dog was at the vet. I tried calling again, still no answer so I texted again, say that it would have been nice to call and let me know this, and were we still leaving today. This was the response I got. "Sorry. No leaving today. I didn't think." So I turn around and head for home, very angry. Meanwhile my text beeper keeps going off. What part of I CAN'T ANSWER TEXTS WHILE I AM DRIVING don't you understand. I am ignoring them, planning on dealing with it after I get home and cool off. But finally I pull off again. I have a text that says "P" and another that says "Amen". And then another that says they are on the road. -.-

So I call, and this time lo and behold Susan answers. She is astonished that I have turned around. They are already north of Webb City. She doesn't believe me when I tell her the text she sent. I take a deep breath and turn around again after coming very close to just heading home.

The rest of the day's trip was uneventful, except for the fact that they don't believe in hotel reservations so we ended up spending almost $100 a room, and it was only that low because of my military discount.

29th June 2014

11:07pm: Jungle mowed, hackberry hacked. Annoying phone.
Attempted to mow yesterday and got rained out in the middle of it. Finished it off today, took a short break and then packed the chainsaw up to the hackberry again.

After running through my batteries again, I have the top completely out of the tree, and I'm working my way back on the big limbs. It was very sweaty work because it is like a sauna with all the rain, and temps around 90. When I went out for a walk this morning there was a thick fog over the creek with all the moisture in the air. Looks like another sauna day tomorrow, and then more rain again the day after that.

Somebody has been calling here repeatedly, and by that I mean 6 times, and leaving no message or a brief garbley complaint that I don't answer my phone. I finally changed the message on my phone to tell them that the most likely have the wrong number but if they leave their name, I will call them back if I know them.

28th June 2014

11:29am: Chainsaw time.
After dropping the big walnut branch yesterday, I had to cut it up to get it out of the way to mow. So I started up the chainsaw and then after I was done, I decided to go ahead and hike it up the creek to work on the downed trees up there.

After working a good chunk of the afternoon, I can see that this is going to be a many day project. I got the smaller hackberry (about an 8" trunk) all cut up and the limbs piled off to the side of the creek. Then I cut off one of the smaller trees that went over with the big hackberry (trunk diameter around 20"). After that I started taking limbs off the big tree. I exhausted all of my batteries, and got off all but just a couple of limbs of the top of the tree. Now it will be a matter of nibbling back the heavier limbs and then the main trunk one chunk at a time. I'm not sure how far I will get on this project, because the tree is so big, but at least I think I can reduce it in size to where it won't be able to span both banks in the next flood.

Heading out soon to mow, more rain predicted for this afternoon.

27th June 2014

11:38am: Andre better, still steamy, tree limb.
Took a full length (3 mile) walk with Andre this morning and couldn't see any trace of a limp. He's also back to doing the "pogo dog" at dinner time. I'm going to take him for a creek walk tonight and see how he handles the uneven footing, but I think he is fully recovered from what ever the hell it was.

It continues to be extremely muggy here, forcing me to use the AC more than I would like. I am hoping that there is a break in the rain today so I can get the lawn mowed. I did it just before I left back in May and with all the rain, it's knee high right now.

Since I got home, I noticed that a very large limb from the walnut on the west side of the deck had suddenly decided to drop down and lean on the roof. When the wind blew, I could hear it bump against the roof. Not good. It was always well clear of the roof before, I don't know why it suddenly dropped down about 2 ft. I got out my ladder and hatched all kinds of dangerous plans for pruning it back, all while hanging precariously off of a very tall ladder. Thankfully, this morning I came to my senses and got out my pole saw. Instead of trying to prune it, I cut off the entire extent of the limb that stretched over the roof, while standing in safety on the deck. It came off perfectly, slid down the oh so slippery metal roof and landed beside the house without crushing my AC unit. I'm sad I had to cut it off, since it provided some considerable shade for the roof, but at least now I don't have to worry about it damaging the new roofing by banging on it every time the wind blows.

25th June 2014

11:26am: Another flood, Andre lame.
The day after I filled in the creek crossing, we had another flood, 3 1/2 more inches of rain. I checked this morning and sure enough, all the gravel I dug up to fill in the hole has washed away again. Oh well, as I've said before, it's a relatively pleasant chore, and it was another nice soaking for the new tree.

Yesterday I took Andre out for a walk up the road in the morning, and he suddenly went lame. He stepped off the road to potty, and when he came back on the road he was limping badly. My first thought was that he stepped on some piece of trash or other, but after checking his paw thoroughly, I decided the pain was in his shoulder. The disturbing thing is that he didn't do anything that would injure it.

The last inexplicable lameness I saw of course was Shadow. It didn't help that the pain was in the same leg, and the same spot. I packed Andre up and took him to the vet. Once there of course he refused to show any lameness, but the vet could tell that he was guarding the leg and agreed that the pain was in the shoulder. He gave me anti inflammatory and pain meds, and said if he wasn't better in 4 days to come back in for an x-ray. In addition to the similarity to Shadow, of course I am worried because his littermate Princes has cancer right now.

He seems much improved today. I took him on a very short walk up the road this morning and he only had a trace of a limp afterwards. I hope I am just being paranoid, although I don't think the worry is unreasonable, all considering.

22nd June 2014

11:16pm: Filling the creek crossing. Librivox. The importance of darkness.
It was really hot today, so rather than schlep the chainsaw up to the hackberry, I decided to fill in the creek crossing by the house.

I suppose I could have fired up the tractor and done the job quickly, but I like wading in the water and tossing rocks into the low spots.

As I dug buckets of gravel and rocks, I was listening to "Brigands from the Moon" by Ray Cummings. What a huge load of tripe. I have never read a sci-fi novel before that was more like a cheap harlequin romance. I think I may just dump that without finishing it. The last thing I listened to was Clifford Simak's "Empire", which was a huge contrast. Lots of interesting science conjecture and no crappy romance. Oh well, they can't all be that good on Librivox.

Just finished watching "The City Dark" about light pollution. I've always hated sky glow, but there are other deeper repercussions as well. Really bad effects on the body's melatonin production for example. With that said, I am off to bed.

21st June 2014

11:12pm: Sweet gum tree! Happy Solstice.
This morning I was surprised by a call from the tree planter asking if today was a good day to plant my big sweet gum tree. I was thrilled and told them to come on out. After I hung up I realized that I needed to warn him about the wretched state of the bridge. I called the nursery back and gave them directions on how to come in from the other end. Then I went out and dug up the buckthorn currently occupying the spot and put it in a pot. After that I waited.... and waited.

Finally at almost noon they showed up, from the wrong direction. Apparently the guy I gave my very thorough directions to didn't bother to pass them on. They did make it over the bridge ok and then backed the truck a short way into my drive. Then they just drove their skid loader down my driveway to dig the hole with a huge auger, and then back again to bring the tree in. The planters were very nice, and I gave them both a fat tip, which they were very appreciative of. I had been looking for a good RAK (random act of kindness) and this seemed to fit the bill nicely.

It was all done in less than an hour. I now have a tree that extends up about 10ft past the level of my second story deck. I wish I had done this sooner. The tree is almost as big as the willow oak that I planted 9 years ago, almost to the day. Looking at that side of the house, it no longer looks nearly as sad and barren.

I watered the heck out of it today, and will probably do so again tomorrow. The tree was definitely looking a slight bit droopy, but it has perked back up nicely. Today has been a very happy Solstice indeed.

20th June 2014

7:17pm: Flood results.
I went out for a walk the day after I got back, and found that the creek really didn't get very high. It barely got into the yard, despite a full rain gauge showing 9 inches total.

Despite there being no damage in the barn, there were after effects. The crossing by the house is washed out, and up by the bigger swimming hole, a medium to large hackberry went down. This afternoon I trimmed off the branches, and then cut back the two small trees that got uprooted with it. I'm going to schlep the chainsaw up there tomorrow and nibble away at it. It's sprawled from bank to bank right now, and if another tree gets washed out upstream (and there are a couple of likely candidates), then it could easily make a dam.

It's good summer work, away from the ticks and chiggers, and convenient to take a plunge in the swimming hole if I get too hot. I've already managed to get a case of chiggers since I got back, despite not going into any of the usual problem areas.

18th June 2014

7:00am: Back from traveling.
Got back last night from my trip to the east coast and back. Asheville was gorgeous, and I really could envision myself living there.

Can I also envision packing up and leaving here? Well, not so much. I do think I will pursue buying land in that area. That does mean putting the 200 acres up for sale though, which is another wrench at my heart.

The visit to MD went very nicely, the weather for the whole trip was very good, none of the hot muggy weather I expected. My niece looked stunning at her graduation, and she also did a fantastic job at her guitar recital. She really is maturing into an exceptional young woman.

Back here at home though, it rained almost constantly, producing a lot of flooding. I kept having to tear myself away from constantly checking the weather channel. The driveway didn't look too bad when I pulled in last night and I'll be inspecting the barn this afternoon to see if anything got washed away. The upside is that the flooding will have washed all the leaves and debris out of my swimming holes, and that is fantastic. I won't go swimming in there when I can't see the bottom clearly, too much risk of copperheads or even a possible cottonmouth.

I drove my niece and sister to my aunt's house on the way back, and also up to visit my uncle in MI. From there they met up with a friend of my sister's and got a rental car to drive back to Ohio to spend time with my niece's grandmother.

My uncle is still in remarkably good health, which is amazing for a 79 year old lifetime smoker. Mentally, he continues to be sharp as a tack, one of the brightest minds I know. I stayed longer than I originally planned, because he needed some help with the yard. I was able to help him with some chores around the place, which is the first time he's really let me do that. I worked on getting his hedges out of the driveway, and tore out masses of invasive weeds. He also had a sassafras tree go over in a storm across his driveway, and I got it mostly cut up and out of the way for him.

It was also good to see my aunt, and I stopped back by after seeing my uncle and helped her with a few projects too.

The start of drive back was hellish. It took 4 hours to get out of IN. There was a rolling police barricade down around Indy, with speeds around 30mph, and then a full fledged parking lot between Indy and Terre Haute. The rest of the drive was ok though, even with the delay I got through St. Louis well before rush hour, and I got off 44 before the sun dropped low enough to blind me driving west.

No problems with the house, it was stuffy and muggy, but some AC soon cleared that up. I really didn't need my elaborate tree watering layout with all the rain we had, but it worked as it should, which makes me happier about traveling in the summer.

Now I am off to take a walk before it gets too hot. Actually it's not too bad today, it's cooler here than it is up north.

25th May 2014

1:43pm: Getting ready, walnut bench.
Yesterday I went down to get some groceries, do the recycling and visit my big tree. The tree is doing wonderfully well, and they said that they might be able to come and plant it soon. I told them to make sure they called before they came, as my gate is usually locked.

I also wandered around some fleamarkets and found a rough sawn little bench. On closer examination I found that the seat is one largish slab of black walnut. It should be fairly short work to sand it down smooth. The grain and color is amazing when you dampen the surface. I'm not sure at this point if I am going to keep it or resell it. It looks quite nice sitting by the rock fireplace.

I am traveling soon, just how soon, I realized when my sister called yesterday. So today I have been packing up stuff, and making lists of things that I want to take. I've also been gathering up another load to go to the fleamarket. I cut some of the dead bamboo canes and made up some bundles for sale, packed up some dump finds, and found another lamp I can live without.

My travels will commence with a trip out east. My niece is graduating middle school. I was thinking of what to get her for a graduation present, and I realized that I have something perfect sitting in my flea market booth. For once, I hope that something actually hasn't sold.

22nd May 2014

11:18pm: Town day.
Been having some spine problems the last week or so, every time I straightened my head up I would get a sharp pain in my forehead. Had some major crunching this week by the Chiro, and it seems to be cleared up now, but it has meant more trips to town that I like.

Today I decided to just stroll around town after my appointment. I hit all the little flea markets, thrift stores and the pawn shop. Pleasant enough, but just wasting time, really. The heat is coming on, which is forcing me indoors much more than I like or is good for me. Soon though, I'll be off on my summer travels, which I am sure will help with the melancholia.

19th May 2014

2:45pm: Ticks.
Contrary to the previous weather report, it warmed up into the low 70's yesterday. After clearing off the creek trail, Andre and I headed up the the hill to the high pasture.

I turned around at the top, because I was coated in ticks. It is amazing the difference 6 or 7 degrees makes. There were a fair number when I went walking on Friday, but yesterday they were intolerable. I combed out Andre thoroughly when we got home and I STILL pulled almost 30 off him at bedtime, mostly those damn seed ticks. Gah.

So it really is off to get my tools out of the dump this afternoon. I was hoping for maybe another couple of days up there. Oh well, fall will be here eventually. Today we went back to walking on the road.
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