March 15

Friday morning I cleaned out the woodburning furnace and started it up again, as it had gotten cold out.  I got it going pretty well with stuff that had blown down in ours and the neighbor’s yards.   I gave both dogs a workout with retrieving a dummy.  I continued shaving Darby, since she was tired, and put the finishing touches on with the scissors.  I picked up a sackful of pine cones for future firestarter material, and scooped up all the bark and sawdust left over from woodcutting in the front yard.  I hauled it down to the brush dump and swept out the back of the truck.  I salvaged two branches for firewood, and several boards for various construction projects. 

After lunch I took a shower and had no intention of doing any physical labor.  I went down to Fenway Landing on the river to photograph pelicans.  The birds were there, and I probably took 100 frames.  Naturally, most didn’t work out.  I was about to leave when I saw a big cottonwood that had been felled and cut into convenient lengths.  You have to rationalize quickly in order to avoid ethical dilemmas in such cases.  The landing is state property.  As a resident of the state, I thought the wood well put to use in heating my home next winter.  Besides, if the river came up another couple of feet, it would all go floating downstream.  Maybe that’s what they intended.  So I loaded up all I could fit in the back of the truck.  After a brief nap, I unloaded and split it. 



Savannah went to the talent show at school, and Stacey and I went to dinner at Primo’s, and talked with various friends we ran into there.

Saturday was run around Quincy day.  Stacey had class and Savannah and her friend Kelsey had lifeguard training, while I played chauffeur.  I worked in the office in the morning, then went to downtown Quincy to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  It was rather unimpressive, being dominated by car clubs, radio stations and small town royalty.  I was only there to see my friends’ Celtic band.  I did get to see and hear them, if briefly.  They sounded great.  The lighting was great because of the overcast, and I got some decent photos.


Here’s Steve playing banjo, and looking very much the part.


The entire band; left of Steve is Wanaree playing the autoharp, which she is just learning.  She sure has guts for playing in public already. 

I picked up the girls and we had Taco Bell for lunch, a quick trip to KMart, then back with everyone to their respective places.  I submitted a manuscript online while at the office.  I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some matting and a frame, then went to the glass shops, but they were closed.  I stopped at some friends’ place who were having a St. Pat’s party, but I was only there 20 minutes before the girls called and it was time to go. 

Sunday it was the same drill for Stacey and Savannah, but I went out to Lowell’s.  We started by dragging some logs out of the woods.  That got us good and warmed up to go fishing.   We took one turn around the lake in the pontoon boat, but it was really windy and, therefore, cold.  Miraculously, I caught a 12 1/2 inch bass on the last point using a prerigged plastic bait.  That breaks the typical “first outing skunk” we’ve grown used to.  We fed the fish in the catfish pond, but they didn’t come up.  We filled the turkey feeder with corn, but that only keeps the deer happy. 

We cut up the logs and stacked them, at least until the holz hausen fell down, or a big part of it.  Good time to go to lunch.  When we returned I restacked it and decided not to make it any higher.  Apparently, a critical part of its construction is to make the sides plumb, or it becomes unstable. 


I swear this is the final picture of the darn woodpile!


While Lowell was walking across his field he found this broken spear point.  I guess the American Indians were trying to kill deer too.

When I got home I made a new wood rack and stacked all the wood that had been occupying Stacey’s parking space.  I hit my finger with a hammer, which is an extremely effective way of removing skin.  My glove was lying on the ground right next to me.  This is irony.

Today (Monday) I got an email from a British radio host.  She wants to interview me during her show–for an hour.  Insects in rock ‘n roll strikes again.  Maybe I’ll finally beat the 15-minutes-of-fame threshold.


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