My stepson was here today, and now our (new house) roof is just over 3/4 protected from downpours. In a surprising twist, my dad said on the phone the other day he would like to come here one weekend and help with building! This is the same dad who came up here 13 years ago when we were building the cabin...err, house that we are living in...and helped finish the roof after The Hermit broke his ankle in a fall from the roof. Actually, I can take credit for most of the actual roof covering on this place. I specialized in it, in my day. But I'm not about to take on metal roofing on a 12:12 pitch. And I don't know if I want my dad up there either!
I've been doing laundry in the wringer washer again, for the last month or so, and hanging it out to dry. Sure saves a lot in laundromat fees, and I actually enjoy spending the time in my backyard instead of that beacon to the lowest common denominator that we call a laundromat. Today when I went out to the clothesline when I got home from work, I got there just in time to see a Cooper's hawk swooping just above the clothesline, chasing some some small unfortunate bird. It all happened so fast, all I saw for ID was a long barred tail, crow sized bird with bluish gray feathers. It took my breath away.
Speaking of taking my breath away, I woke up several times last night, gasping for breath. Dang it, I think I may have sleep apnea, or maybe some anxiety thing. My sleep has been a bit more disturbed in the last month or so, for some unknown reason. And I'm having some really epic, vivid dreams when I'm sleeping. Weird.
I'm within 75 pages of finishing my first 500 page book in a long time. I think the last long book I read was "Prairyerth" by William Least Heat Moon. I don't even think I finished that one. What I'm reading now is "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. Fascinating stuff. He tells how various societies have made choices, or were the victims of conditions they knew not how to control, that led to their ultimate demise or success. I'm just getting to the good part, where he writes about how this all relates to our modern day global society. I really wish more college textbook writers would have his knack for telling a story, and for repeating the important points. Reading this book has been a real window into the history of human society for me. I especially liked his accounts of the Viking settlement in Greenland; I share some blood with the Norse.
I cleaned out the chicken house on Saturday; that is, after helping The Hermit clean out the composting outhouse. What a sh*t day, I tell ya! The composting outhouse really isn't as bad as it sounds; a couple months later, the stuff smells all earthy and nothing at all like a toilet. And, in the pile from last year, I found several very vigorous looking tomato plants. Few fruits, but they're giving it a try! So on to the chicken house...it is home to very few chickens these days, but in a week or so we're moving our chicks from the chicken tractor to the chicken house. There also reside within the fence three very mean, ornery Toulouse geese, whom I'm secretly wishing would be massacred by some predator. But if that hasn't happened in four years and two orders of chickens, it's not going to happen. So, I entered the enclosure, made a few threatening gestures with my compost fork, and they got the idea and left me alone.
The chicken house had not been properly cleaned out for over a year, so it was layers of scattered hay and chicken droppings. all dried out to create a fine dust that penetrated the air as soon as I started attacking the tough layers with the compost fork. I would take a deep breath of fresh air, go in, loosen all I could, go out and wait for the dust to settle, and go back in to shovel it out. Luckily, Calvin freely offered his help, and with two hands the job got much lighter. Did I say "freely?" Actually, it involved a bonus to the allowance. I tend to reward work that is initially offered up without an ulterior motive.
We were perhaps rewarded for that work tonight; there is a single baby chick in the chicken house! There is one very broody Buff Orpington hen who did not leave her post the entire time we were cleaning; I'm hoping more of the dozen or more eggs she's sitting on will hatch.
In my leisure time, I've been contemplating taking up the banjo. I love the sound of it, have been listening to a lot of Bela Fleck lately, and just think it's time for something new, musically.
So can a blog post get any more rambling than this? That's life, it rambles around from here to there.