Monday, January 12, 2009

And Daily Deer

And, continuing the Double-D theme of the day, here's a pic of "Daily Deer," so named because of his habit of showing up almost every day and grazing on fallen bird seeds, as well as our yews, which I wish he wouldn't.

But, I have a soft spot for DD, because he's got a bum hind leg. We first thought he had dislocated it, or had been hit by a car, but have now concluded it's a birth defect. He gets along quite well on three, thank you very much, even through the snow.

On the other hand, he looks like he's expending a lot of energy doing with three legs what other deers do with four, so I put out a feed block for him (you can see it behind DD), and he seems to be enjoying chawing on that. After consulting with our vet, I've now also expanded the DD menu to apples, carrots, and a hay bale and Peggy has taken to calling me "Farmer John."

DD may have put out the word that I'm a soft touch, as a few days ago, a posse of four new deers, including a Fall fawn, showed up behind him. Although DD is too slow-moving to keep up with them, they all seemed used to hanging out together, and I suspect they all share some bedding place in the woods behind us.

I dithered about "nature taking its course" and all that, but again, after a frank discussion with our vet, who I trust, we figured that as long as DD nether looked like he was suffering or starving I'd at least give him a fighting chance. As the vet said, if he can make it through the Winter, the chances are he'll do fine come Spring. Interestingly, she says deers with only three good legs are quite usual, and many of them live a deer's normal allotted time.

And, I have this nagging thought that DD is a sign to an often-morose Farmer John that " you have to farm in the weather you are given, you can't be waiting for the sun to shine."

Live long and prosper, DD.

Demolition Days

For those asking for news of how bad the flooding in our basement was... it was this bad. Or more accurately, this was the aftermath.

About the only thing that we didn't have to take down was the ceiling, but at that point it seemed ridiculous to renovate the basement office and leave the funky, old, ill-lit, mouse-infested ceiling in. So it went too.

As did the dark, old, `60s-era wall paneling, pleasing Peggy to no end. We found that the walls had been incorrectly studded and most of the paneling wasn't anchored to anything. Hence the reason behind the walls bulging out from the pressure of the water behind them.

As did all the insulation , which was still soaked six inches up after three weeks. We were going to cut the wet insulation out, saving what we could, but the insulation was so inefficient compared to modern standards that we had it all pulled.

As did all the studding. We were going to add new wall studding in, but found that the floor studs - after repeated soaking over the years, were sodden, rotted so badly that they were crumbling, and covered with black mold. So we pulled it all out.

The rug, an indoor/outdoor, has been pulled, but is salvageable.  The pad wasn't.  We probably won't replace the pad - "once is accident, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

 I lost about 30 years of books, happily not all of them.  Mostly the paperbacks.  Peggy lost Christmas decorations, books, boxes of memories. Probably other things that we won't know about until we try to find them.

Yes, we know, We appreciate the sentiment.  We're getting over it. 

What was the finished basement is now an empty shell.  Actually, it isn't an empty shell.  As I write this, new studding and wallboard have arrived and are being loaded downstairs.

As that frosty poet, Robert Frost, once said, "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned in life: It goes on."

And it does.  And so will we.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Into `09

I have a semi-policy not to talk problems on fhb, mostly because I could easily turn the blog into a forum about nothing except my problems.  Occasionally, like we all do I run into a string of bad luck where there seems to be nothing to talk about except problems... and that's been pretty much true since mid-October, and is partially the reason I stopped blogging at fhb.

But y'know, writing that brings to light that the statement isn't entirely true.  Yeah, we've had some tough times in recent months, and we're not out of the woods yet.

But up to October, it was a pretty good year, although the last three months overshadowed the preceding nine.  But we had a great trip up at my ancestral watering hole in Moosehead Lake, Maine. 

I did some work - both for clients and for myself - that were as good as anything I've ever done, and of which I'm still exceedingly proud.

We had one of the best Thanksgivings ever with our family.  Thanks to their generosity, we also have access to a beautiful house on Martha's Vineyard whenever we want it.

Dreamtime continues to keep me sane and whole.

I have two cats who love me unconditionally, because they don't know any better. 

And I have Peggy - who certainly does know better, but who still loves me, too.

I'm not sure at this point how much I'll continue blogging at fhb, although the fact that I wrote the word "continue" without thinking about it indicates to me that I'm not quite ready to shut it down altogether.  As I've said, most of my writing is over at Dreamtime now, and posts here will probably continue to be sporadic at best.

But 2008 is over. Let's see what 2009 brings.