improvised dog toys
Saturday, October 21 2023
location: 940 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
We had a nice Saturday morning at the cabin with all the usual fun things (which, for me, included coffee and a complicated bagel containing vegan cream cheese, a slice of an ancient tomato, some ancient lettuce, and Grey Pouon mustard). We also played the New York Times Spelling Bee of course. It was cool enough for a fire, so we had one of those going to.
As for our new dog Charlotte, Gretchen had decided she is a winner after all. She's apparently a world-class snuggler (at least with Gretchen) and was easy enough to have around.
It had been raining, but eventually that let up somewhat, so Gretchen and I decided to walk with Charlotte down to the lake. (Neville didn't want to come.) She was good at staying close to us, often darting quickly back and forth to points further along the trail. We were carrying my telescoping ladder (which is just heavy enough to be something better done by two) and lost sight of her in the final shortcut to the dock. Gretchen went back to look for her and found her near the cairn I'd erected to mark the beginning of the shortcut. Something about how unnatural it looked had freaked Charlotte out and she hadn't want to go near it. So to get to the shortcut path, she went off-trail in a long curve the stay as far away from the cairn as possible.
Charlotte followed us out onto the floating part of the dock and then matter-of-factly stepped off the side, immediately plunging beneath the surface and disappearing completely for one or two seconds, exactly how my relative Chrissy's dog Olivia had done a month before. Evidently she and Olivia both just assumed it was a solid surface that could be walked on. Once she bobbed to the surface, she immediately swam to shore and shook herself off. After that, Charlotte was wary of walking more than a few feet out onto the permanent (non-floating) part of the dock.
This afternoon, I undertook a complete stand-alone insulation project at the cabin's northeast corner. That is the place where the foundation wall is buried beneath the least amount of soil, and I've had concerns about my further removal of existing soil potentially allowing cold to penetrate the footings in that area, particularly for one of the posts holding up the east decks. So today I dug all the way down to about the level of the cabin's footing in a square measuring about four feet by four feet between the foundation wall and the most-exposed of the deck support posts. This only required the removal of about two feet of soil, but in total than meant removing some 32 cubic feet of soil, which is somewhat more than a cubic yard. I piled it all up nearby, since I would immediately be filling the hole in once I installed sixteen square feet of two inch styrofoam at its bottom. But then while I had the soil removed, I dug side tunnels all the way around the deck post foundation, allowing me to extend the "wing" of foam insulation nearly all the way around its base. I did similar side-tunneling to extend the wing of insulation nearly a foot westward along the bottom of the north foundation wall. This amount of horizontal insulation at footing depth is probably sufficient for now, though if I remove much more soil (which will increase the utility of the space beneath the decks), I will want to add more. Fortunately, the only rationale for adding more wing insulation is if the soil gets shallow (through my removal of it), which means it won't take much additional work to bury such foam.
Gretchen made us an Asian ramen dish this evening and then we took the dogs on a walk out to Woodworth Lake Road. Initially the plan was to walk up to the radio tower, but on the way there we found a new elaborate driveway had been assembled branching off the side of the road to the tower. The side road required an elaborate stone retaining wall made of massive boulders that had evidently been stacked by a clever stone mason using an excavator. Earlier this season, the forest there had been heavily logged, though it looked like the stumps had all somehow been removed, leaving vast stretches of black forest topsoil amid the scraggly trees remaining. Looking at the devastation, it was clear that human "management" of a forest isn't any better than smallpox's "management" of human skin. I was also astounded by the sheer number of stones of all sizes that were now visible. In a normal, healthy Adirondack forest, the deep soil hides nearly all but the largest of rocks.
After we returned to the cabin, Gretchen drove back to Hurley in the Bolt so she'd be in the Kingston area tomorrow morning to make a rare appointment with an organization that accepts as eWaste the kind of long fluorescent tubes that we've had a box of (and that nobody wanted for free) the whole time we've lived upstate. (Without them to take it, it was doubtful there were any legal means of getting rid of them, since not even Home Depot takes such bulbs.)
With Gretchen gone, I ate a cannabis lollipop given to me by Christine. As it kicked in, I bonded with the dogs in a way that I often do while on cannabis, taking pains to include Neville in all the snuggling and petting. Periodically, though, I'd go down in the basement and do some work, which (given my mental state) wasn't more complicated that finding a good place for the couch (which used to be our teevee room couch back in Hurley). Every time I came up from the basement, it seems I'd find evidence of Charlotte having acted out to protest my absence. On one occasion I found she'd pulled some volumes of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events out of the low bookshelves on the sides of the chairs (though the dog I found mauling the first in the series, The Bad Beginning, was actually Neville). On another I found Charlotte (or a misled Neville) had chewed the end off a cardboard cylinder illustrated with beautiful pictures of whales. Since our cabin didn't contain any dog toys at all (not even a bone!), I decided to give both dogs some HDPE plumbing pipes, the kind used to make drains under kitchen sinks (since I had many more of those than I can ever use, they're probably cheaper than real dog toys, and they have a nice chewiness to them).
By then, I was drinking heavily of course, and eventually I had to crash back in the bedroom.
Charlotte about to get out the lake after accidentally going for a swim.
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Charlotte immediately after she got out of the water after her swim.
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Charlotte was then nervous about the lake's mysteries.
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Charlotte and Neville snuggling with Gretchen this afternoon.
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The styrofoam I buried this afternoon near the cabin's northeast corner. The exposed concrete pier for that post is over forty inches tall and rises at least four feet above whatever its footing looks like (which I never actually reached).
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