Late October

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Was behind the mountains where we used to catch fish in the streams. Where we sipped the cold water from the spring beside the trail. How we used to look forward to it on a hot day after exploring the back country, or hunting for deer and elk, sometimes we only came home with chicken. I remember thinking, if it wasn’t for all these damn trees I’d be able to see something to shoot at.

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Now the trees are large and I wonder sometime if they were always there. Every trip it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Same as the ridges, the way the light hits them. It’s cold in the creek bottom, dark and icy, but those ridges basked in the last light look mighty inviting.

I don’t go far, never have, there is still plenty of ridges, I haven’t walked, without ruck or crowd, right under my nose. Tamarack, old, hard, and twisted. Scree slopes, waterfalls, fish behind rocks, mountains that change depending on the light, enough for 10 lifetimes if you had four sets of eyes.

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It’s getting chilly. The snow is on the mountains. You could die if you break your ankle, freeze if you fall through the ice, get lost in the crooks and crags, too scared to move in the dark.

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Who needs a jet plane to explore? When you can count on the stars.

story time

 

_LME8758.jpgAn hilarious day. The sky cleared during the night and got down to minus 10. I got to work early to enter yesterdays jobs because the computer wasn’t working the day before.

The groundsman came in next and said, fuck it’s cold, I hope the irrigation didn’t freeze.

Next, the young guy came in and said, what should I do?

Since I ain’t the boss, I said, whatever.

The groundsman said, go check for ice.

We hadn’t had any moisture during the night so that meant, driving around in the cold looking busy till light.

The young fellow radioed and said, we are going to need more salt to melt the ice.

I said, you have two buckets.

He said, they are already used.

He also said, you guys should come out here.

When we got there, every sidewalk and staircase was covered in a thin layer of ice. It looked pretty in a Disney kind of way. . . and dangerous. I imagined someone coming out of their building looking to the brilliant morning sky and stepping on the walk and going ass over tit.

I said, what the fuck is this.

The groundsman said, shit, I forgot to turn off the irrigation.

The sprinklers had turned the resort to ice.

The inventory of salt was in storage a mile away waiting for winter. Since the managers and supervisors with keys to the storage don’t get in till sun up. I grabbed the bolt cutters, jumped in the truck, and got the salt.

We poured a shit load of salt on the resort and had everything thawed by the time the guests awoke and the managers arrived.

Of course, I will have to explain a cut lock at the storage unit, but I’ll think of something.

The groundsman, still walked into the lunch room at 9 am and used the toaster to make toast and peanut butter, even though we don’t take coffee breaks, like nothing had happened. If I was him I would have been ducking my head.

The young guy impressed me, once the sun was out he swept up all the remaining salt. It looked like nothing had happened.

Not bad, I say, for three guys getting paid a pinch more than minimum wage.

The rest of the day was pure sunshine.

ro dun dent

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A mouse has decided to make it’s home in our studio. It has chewed the weather stripping at the bottom of the door. I blamed Willow at first, thinking she was scratching at the door, though I’ve never seen her do so. The mouse has even got into my big teacher’s desk and chewed into my bag of veggie and flower seeds.

Willow knows it’s inside and it drives her nuts. She sniffs and snorts and follows it from one hiding place to another. Once under the old Heidelberg press it is safe. Willow falls asleep with her nose beside the pallet.

If Willow doesn’t pick up her game I may have to buy a trap.

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The garden has gone from wet to bone dry over the weekend. It doesn’t take many sunny days to parch the earth.

The garden is producing more than we can eat. Tonight it is mixed salad including kale, spinach and chard, beets, carrots and spuds.

Another week and the zucchini and squash will be ready. 

The beans are also on the rise, this year will be quite a crop as it seems every seed germinated.

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A lazy Sunday after a busy week.

loyalty

_LME3193The thing about letting the dog run the mouse out the door is she might keep going to the next barn. The dog I mean, the mouse will always come back.

firewood

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We have plenty of firewood. We get it early. We call it next years wood.

It takes sweat and stamina to cut, chop and finally relax in front of a fine fire.

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The dogs were a sniff in the bush. Catching scents, running hither and yon. I envied them. I also envy the way they can sleep anywhere. Dreaming of slow rabbits and bird calls,

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Lisa did the cutting, not every woman can handle a chainsaw with a 24” bar, while I hauled the blocks. Maynard caught a rabbit and displayed it proudly. Willow enjoyed the bush as usual. Very fine day.

those northerners

RCE_8364.jpgfence line

“Yes I am. It’s on my resumé,”

said my neighbour,

after he was told

he wasn’t

an asshole.

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My fence even half not up

still tomorrow should

prove promise.

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It’s good not to be a connoisseur of anything. It allows us to drink bad beer and wine, eat all the the extra parts of the animal, enjoy Jughead and Crumb, figure a fine is sometimes worth it, tell bad jokes, unpolitically correct or just in bad taste, share stories about birds,  flying, laughing. . . those superior bastards.

Plus what would we do without sub standard music? Shite, we would all be listening to Brahms and Taylor Swift.

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My boss likes to say, we ain’t building a piano. He doesn’t say it to me. He knows I haven’t seen a piano since keyboards. But for the other guys. . . those old fucks.

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Storm clouds with nothing in them, neither rain or wind. Most go west to east and jump the mountains. It’s the northerners you have to worry about. They care little for geography, and will flatten a garden in a minute.

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Exaggeration isn’t just bullshit.