Thursday, September 14 2023
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY
I was up at around 8:00am and immediately began loading the Chevy Bolt for this weekend's drive up to the cabin, which I would be doing with just the dogs. Gretchen had a women's basketball game to attend in the City, among other things. After taking the dogs on a short walk on the Farm Road (Neville pooped!), I loaded them into the car and began the drive. On this drive, my first destination was the Home Depot in Amsterdam, where I wanted to buy a 93 pound sack of porland cement. In the past, this product had always cost about $10, but it's now about $20. While there, I also got one last can of spray foam (just in case I needed it) and two large tubes of Liquid Nails Heavy Duty. I also bought a few provision in the Hannaford next door (including Dragon's Milk imperial stout) and a half gallon of gin at Black Bear Wine & Spirits, the liquor store I go to when I need liquor and I'm in that area.
Once I arrived at the cabin, I checked my messages, and of course there was one from Gretchen writing to tell me to call her to discuss the ongoing rat problem at Brewster Street. When we talked, she explained that the rats were chewing through the spray foam barricades in the basement and also at the door coming up from the basement to the kitchen. Gretchen had called an animal control company about it to see what the most humane option was and she was already sold on the idea of traps that kill the rats quickly by breaking their necks. I was initially stunned by such a radical change in her views on this matte, but then wondered if we're going to do that, maybe I should set and check the traps. But on second thought, if the price was only $500 to have a company come and set the traps and remove the bodies, that was $500 well spent. So I told Gretchen, sure, let's have the professionals do it.
With that no longer occupying my thoughts, I resumed my work on the foundation insulation project. To warm myself up, I carried something like 20 five gallon buckets of sandy (and sometimes sandy-with-gravel) soil from a borrow pile near the northwest corner of the cabin to fill in what remains of the shallow trench running along the south foundation wall. I managed to fill it nearly to the top, leaving a little bit to be filled in by the loamy topsoil I'd put aside for filling in the tops of the ditches. Otherwise, though, the foundation insulation project is in the covering-the-styrofoam-with-cement-board phase, and made good progress on that this afternoon. In the course of a few hours, I trenched out the remaining unclad stretch of styrofoam on the north end of the west wall enough to make room for three-foot-tall sheets (this required about a foot of trenching in some places) and then cut and installed three sheets of Durock, finishing the cladding of the west foundation wall.
Then I went down to the lake for a celebratory kayak outing, which I did in the main body of the lake, paddling across to the public dock and then to the private one just to its north. Nobody else was at the lake, but somewhere someone was running a small fossil-fuel-powered motor for most of the time I was there.
Back at the cabin, I ate a cannabis gummy and cooked myself a frozen pizza that I covered with sliced mushrooms and fresh tomato (I should've also added onions, but for some reason I didn't think of that). By the time I went to take a bath in the upstairs bathroom, the cannabis had kicked in so powerfully that I shivering, though that was partly due to mid-September chill. Later I made a fire in the woodstove, mostly for Neville's benefit. As I lay on the couch reading articles on my Chromebook and listening to the music (it started with the National and then was the Editors), I had a number of cannabis-intensified thoughts. Thinking about how Indians get to run their reservations at least partly autonomously, I wondered how long that had been the case or if it had been that way from the very start, even when Indians were considered by white Americans to be primitive subhumans with backwards traditions. Are Indian reservations really like autonomous nations living in a matrix of constitutional Euro-America, mantaining governance continually from a time before white man arrived? At around that time, I noticed what sounded like a loop of honking Canada geese in the Editors song that was playing.
The west foundation wall of the cabin after I finished the Durock cladding today. Click to enlarge.
My feet today down at the dock on Woodworth Lake this afternoon. I've almost got the toenail fungus defeated on my big toes. Click to enlarge.
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