Saturday, June 10 2023
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
After a typical morning of coffee, a bagel (this one with faux cheese spread and avocado), and Spelling Bee, I resumed some work on the foundation digging project on the east side of the cabin (that is, under the decks). A phoebe nest on a support girder now seemed to be empty, so I no longer had to worry about disturbing them. After a little digging, though, I realized I wasn't really in shape to do this sort of work and I will have to build up to it gradually. Fortunately, the weather was cool (cool enough for me to have started a morning fire in the woodstove) and so there weren't many biting flies. But working under that deck has lots of problems, including limited headroom and limited space for storing removed material. Eventually I'll be deploying a plywood-and-rebar retaining wall to hopefully limit the amount I have to remove. But nothing about this project is easy. And the biggest benefit, let's be honest, is that it will give me some much-needed exercise. (The ostensible reason for all this work is to keep the basement from freezing in the winter time, which would make winterizing the cabin much easier.)
So then I did some tinkering in the basement, adding an electrical outlet at the boiler that isn't controlled by a switch. That will come in handy when I add circuits to intelligently decide when to run the boiler, but for now it amounted to procrastination.
The plan for this afternoon was for Gretchen to drive to Albany and attend a Bard Prison Initiative function, mostly just to see Powerful. But then Powerful sent Gretchen a message saying Gillian would be there and to "behave." A little backstory: Gillian is one of the young white women in Tivoli who befriended Powerful seemingly to give legitimacy to her do-gooder organization. But then after his heart transplant when Powerful came out of the hospital and moved in with Gillian (on her invitation), only nine days passed before she made it clear he had to leave. So Gretchen had to pick him up, cleaned up his foul-smelling room, and he did his recovery at our house. Not surprisingly, Gretchen has hated Gillian ever since, though Powerful was never the slightest bit upset with her. After seeing that condescending message from Powerful, Gretchen made up an excuse about a stomach bug and said she wouldn't be coming. She revealed this to me after I'd just been down the nascent Lake Edward Trail trying (unsuccessfully) to figure out where it goes after crossing a small creek.
So instead Gretchen and I took the dogs on a drive down into Johnstown to the big gardening center called Parker's Flowers. It's a place I'd gotten good stuff at last year, but only this year did I realize what its name should be: Parker's Posies. It's the kind of place where you can let the dogs wander around semi-offleash and everyone will make a fuss about how cute and/or beautiful they are. One batty older woman (a custoemr) who successfully convinced us to get an enormous African black-eyed susan went on at some length about her various rescue animals, which included a three-legged cat and a dog with brain damage from an abusive phases early in his or her life. We ended up spending about $140, mostly on various flowers. But we also got me a jalapeño pepper plant. One of the things we wanted to buy there was garden soil, but they only had one bag. This forced us to drive out to Noble Ace Hardware to get three more bags there.
I feeling sleepy back at the house, but Gretchen had enough energy to put all the flowers in pots and then finish building the little garden plot directly in front of the house. But she made a miscalculation and it had sixteen spots for plants instead of the twelve it was supposed to. But that just meant there were spots for four more plants.
At some point I myself got a second wind and continued work on my power cable burying project. I had three different gardening gloves, but I soon realized there was no way to feel what I needed to feel underground without using my bare hands. Fortunately, I'd strengthened a couple of my weaker fingernails with a mix of super glue and baking soda.
We sat down at the cabin dinner table for dinner (which is unusual for us) to eat leftovers that found their way into tacos and such. There were also vegan mozzarella sticks from the Honest Weight Food Co-op that Gretchen liked a lot more than I did.
An eastern swallowtail butterfly visiting every flower in our building site, which (this season) is mostly different species of clover. (This is white clover.)
Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
The tall plants northwest of the cabin are all sweet clovers.
Click to enlarge.
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