[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Me: I don’t need to write it down, I’ll remember.Me and my ADHD: *looks at each other* *bursts out laughing* Ahhhhh, good one…..

Follow this up instantly with “… Shit, I was going to write something down.”
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Farmbaby is insincerely and loudly weeping because “nobody will play with me” (she rejected me, and rejected every activity her mother had suggested) while her mother was in the bathroom. Kid, nobody plays boardgames on the toilet. She earlier was furious because her father went and ate breakfast when breakfast was ready, instead of playing a board game she was about to set up in the hallway. She kept moaning from the hallway “I’m so lonely!” while all of us were sitting in the next room eating breakfast. I can tell today is going to be Delightful.

The Woodchuck Incident

Jul. 20th, 2017 02:09 am
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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As promised, here is a Life On The Farm / In The Yurt story, about a woodchuck who had some Regrets. 

It begins as a vignette into life with my family. See, my father, with the help of my mother, is engaged in a years-long project to re-side the front of my sister’s house. It’s a historic house, built in 1825; Mom has already researched enough and is going to sit down and write a book detailing the biographies of every individual who ever lived in it. Anyway, it’s got the original siding on it, and the last coat of paint it ever had applied to it was sometime between 1930 and 1940. There’s been extensive consultation via the county historical society as to what kind of work should be done to preserve the house, etc. My sister and her husband have no say in it and have accepted this. They’re too busy with the farm anyway; they’d slap a coat of paint on it to try to keep it from falling down, maybe, but– no. Dad’s re-siding it, properly, and bringing to bear every bit of his notorious, lifelong perfectionism and attention to detail. It is going to be perfect.

Trust me, I’m getting to the part about the yurt and the woodchuck. 

Anyway. They started that last Saturday. They bought the siding itself ages ago (in case you were wondering, The Most Authentic siding is thousands of dollars, of course), and in the spring, loaded it all up into the attic of the closest outbuilding to the house (the granary), and have been priming every board, front and back, for weeks and weeks and weeks. Hours of work, up in that attic, and now they’re finally starting to actually put it onto the house. And it’s amazing– they haven’t found a modern nail yet, every board on there is original, it hasn’t been touched, it was so well-built that it has endured beautifully for all these years. It’s just a beautiful house, really well-made, inspiringly well-crafted. 

But. The front of the house faces south, and there are no trees, no shade. Perfect for the perennial garden my sister has put in, but. It’s brutally hot now, on sunny days, and my father is 72. He overdid it a little bit on Monday, he felt; he’s trying to be careful with himself, because he’s calculated that he has so much to do that he has to live to 101 like his grandfather, so he’s figuring he’s got to start pacing himself now. So, yesterday was his day to babysit, but he had no real plans for today, and figured he’d take it easy.

So he puttered around, ran some errands, brought over a stepladder for the project, and went and stood out in front of the house for a minute, and then came inside. “Nope,” he said, “too hot.” I had just reached the same conclusion and come inside from harvesting flowers, trying to avoid sun hives. (I didn’t quite succeed, because of the later outdoor activity that transpired below– yes, by the yurt– but they’re not too bad.) 

I had mentioned at some point that I wanted to fix the door frame of my yurt (see! we’re getting there, be patient)– we’d expanded the lattice to make the wall higher, but the door frame that ties it all together was still at the original wall height of 48″. Not ideal. So I said, really I just need four 1x3s that are a little longer than the ones I have, and then we can reuse all the hardware from the existing door frame. And so he said, on this fine, brutally humid, hot July Wednesday, Let’s just go measure and see what size lumber we need, and maybe I’ll wander over to the hardware store later, that’s a good errand for a hot day. So we did. 60″, we decided, would do nicely. 

So he went on about his business, and I went on about mine.

Some hours later he turned up again, to my surprise. “Well,” he said, “I got the lumber, and then I thought of a couple of projects I could do here that wouldn’t be too intensive, and I thought, well, I’ll bring the lumber over. If you’re free, we’ll fix your doorframe, if not, I have half a dozen other things I could work on.”

Well, I had just finished the little project my sister and I had needed to get done right then, and so it happened I was free, so we went out to the yurt.

Now. The doorframe is a lovely, intricate bit of woodworking. But the actual door of the yurt is a flap of canvas. The guy who made my yurt is not into sewing. He’s great at the wood parts, but the canvas parts are sort of… well, utilitarian. And the door flap is not really very… effective. I’ve supplemented it with a shower curtain and a vinyl tablecloth, and I leave it all closed up most of the time. But today, there was an actual 0% chance of precipitation, and so, very unusually, I’d left all that open, and so the only thing blocking my doorway was the gauze curtain I use as a screen door. It hangs just fine and does a great job keeping bugs out. It just is useless against rain, so. 

Anyway. I pick all that apart, all the shit I have tied and clipped and clamped on there to try to make this thing watertight, and I take everything off the doorframe. The problem is that the doorframe is what literally all of the wall’s supports are tied to, and the roof is supported on the walls. It’s all an interlocking series of opposing forces– the roof’s rafters push the lattice wall outward, the ropes/cords/bands tied to the doorframe at top and middle (there are actually a minimum of four bands and each one has a different beautiful name in Mongolian and I don’t know their names, also properly it’s a ger not a yurt by the way) push inward on the lattice, all is beautifully sound and windproof, and it works really really well. But if you remove the doorframe… Well, I carefully tied the belly band to itself across the open space, and we did what we could with the other bands, and it seemed to be holding up okayish. There are three rafters that sit on the top of the doorframe as well, and removing those made the roof ring tilt a little, but it didn’t fall, so I gingerly left it, and we went to work dismantling the door frame.

It’s a great design; my yurt guy camps in his, so he’d worked out a way to make it all completely able to be disassembled, and he’d marked all the corners to make that easy to do. But I’d never done so, and so we had to really work to get it apart, especially since it was damp in a couple places so the wood was swollen and getting the carriage bolts out was just a hassle. Much hammering and thwacking and prying etc ensued, and we got it all done after much longer than we’d expected– probably an hour and a half, all told, to bang this thing into shape. 

So now we have to tie all the supports back into it, and it’s tricky; it doesn’t really want to fit, and we have to do a lot of wiggling.

Well, doesn’t the damn roof ring tilt too much, and the rafters pop out, and the thing falls, right on top of all my stuff. Ugh, I don’t think anything’s broken– and the funniest thing is, there right in the middle is my nightstand, with the cup of water I keep next to the bed, poking up through the open roof ring, and the cup’s not even spilled. I had a good laugh at that, but then we had to figure out how to fix it.

We rolled the canvas partway off the roof, and Dad got in there, and I got in there, and between the two of us we wriggled the roof ring back up into position. The rafters get locked in during the assembly process by having a lace threaded through a hole in the end of each one, so it’s incredibly difficult to pop one back into the roof ring, let alone all twenty-seven or whatever I’ve got. But after much struggle, we manage to get most of the rafters back in, and the roof ring’s supported again, and the thing’s up. Phew.

I kneel on my bed to reach the last three rafters, which had fallen onto the bed. 

There’s suddenly a frantic scrambling sound– hang on, let me explain the layout inside the yurt. It’s tiny, so my bed is basically half the space. I have it against the back wall, opposite the door. One long edge of the bed is up against the wall on that side, and the other long edge is along the middle of the yurt, so that the center hole is above as little of it as possible. (It leaks a lot. I hate rain on my bed.) So my dad is standing in the center of the yurt, directly beside the bed. Right in front of him is my bedside table, centered under the center roof hole. 

There’s a mad scrambling noise, and a whole-ass live adult groundhog shoots out from under the bed, directly past my dad, sprinting like its ass is on fire, and goes straight out the open door. We both stare in shock after it. 

I go and check under the bed– has it gnawed its way in through the wall? has it chewed up through the plywood platform floor? I should mention the yurt’s on a platform at least 12″ off the ground, here, it’s on a platform framed by 2x6s supported up on cinder blocks. 

There’s no sign of anything. This little woodchuck clearly just waltzed its happy ass straight into the yurt– up a step, I might add– through a door– it must have been exploring, and then Dad and I showed up and blocked the doorway and started making a ruckus, and the thing’s been cowering under the damn bed for like an hour and a half including having the roof fall in on it and has not made a damn sound this whole time. But me kneeling up on that bed was just too much. 

I gotta say, I’m really thankful that did not happen at night, because I would have pissed myself. (Actually, just now, a deer just went by, or like, fell down the hill, I really couldn’t tell, it was loud, and that’s unnerving enough.) 

But I bet that thing will think twice before it goes exploring like that again. 

At least it didn’t shit in here. 

Next project, though: A door that latches.
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[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Finally I got a picture of the completed painting thing I did. It’s just a piece of raw canvas I did up with fabric paint and acrylics, based on maybe the best line out of Harbors of the Sun, which is Pearl’s “Let’s get this travesty started.” 

I didn’t know what to do with it when I finished it, so I took it to the farm and put it up in my yurt, where it fits nicely clipped straight to the khana [lattice wall]. 

First shot is a detail so you can see the painting thing all nice:

And a second context photo (what’s that wooden handle??), but I’ll cut for length.

 In this photo you can see my nice candle holder and also where I’ve dropped the sidewall to make a window (covered in mosquito netting), with a little peek of the twilight forest outside. And, directly under the sign is the handle of the child-size Louisville Slugger that I keep out there because it helps me sleep in a canvas house in the woods by the highway two miles from where they found a murder victim last year. (It remains idyllic, but I like a little peace of mind, you know? Also I just had an encounter with a woodchuck, which I’ll relate separately, so having a long prodding implement also is useful in case of non-human intruders.) 

Anyway. There’s my inspired décor. (I’m not great at decorating. I need me some Arbora to fancy the place up. I gotta tell y’all about my new door, though, and the Woodchuck Incident, because it’s fantastic, but I need better pictures of the door, I was too distracted by the Incident to concentrate on photography.)
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Draven wasn’t wrong to want Galen Erso dead. It would be a righteous killing as well as a practical one, the execution of a man surely responsible for the deaths of countless civilians. Erso’s years inside the Imperial war machine could have no innocent outcome. If killing Erso saved a single life, then that was cause to celebrate—but if not, his assassination was no less justified.

#the person from whom I reblogged this called it ‘morally hot’ #and like - yes#quite apart from any actual shipping#this scene specifically and this relationship generally is charged and compelling and fraught and fascinating with implied history#as well as slightly horrifying in its power dynamics and political dynamics and political power dynamics#someone please tell me the story of how an ex-separatist spy and an ex-space-cia spymaster manage to work hand in glove#in what is clearly an extremely effective professional partnership that requires them both to place a lot of faith in the other’s judgement#look how quickly draven calls off the strike on eadu based on nothing but cassian’s request#look at the wordless intimacy of understanding between them here - no way it’s the first time cassian’s orders have gone off the books#and yet look at the equally clear resentment on cassian’s face#please tell me all about this relationship built on professional trust and woven through with personal suspicion#it is indeed morally hot #spies #davits draven #cassian andor #star wars#rogue one #my separatist feels #gifs

via @chamerionwrites
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Harvest buddy among the sunflowers. This is why we encourage the milkweed! (at Laughing Earth)
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It’s really depressing how Labor Day has gone from “give laborers a day off” to “give white collar office workers and executives a day off but make retail laborers work so that executives can get a latte on their day off”

‘labor’ meant manufacturing workers, back when labor day started. no one foresaw the service economy.

service workers are getting shafted by everyone, and that includes labor advocates. when wal-mart employees try to unionize and get punished or fired for it, the ‘power to the people’ types just shrug. they’re not digging ditches or assembling cars, so they’re not really The Workers, they’re just some bozos in polyester slacks, right? i mean, if you have to wear a name tag and call people ‘sir’ while they’re screaming at you, you can’t be the noble proletariat we like to put on a pedestal. there must be something wrong with you.

seriously, if you think this attitude only comes from fat cats and soccer moms, think again. labor organizers think pulling lattes isn’t labor. your dockworkers and truck drivers don’t care if some burger flipper is standing at the grill on a broken foot because they have neither sick leave nor health insurance.

you can’t paint a heroic mural of service workers on the side of city hall, because they’re not muscularly straining at machines, and their uniforms look silly.

er. right. so it turns out i am emotional about this issue.
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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He’s in the jacket! And it’s mended! AND IT’S MENDED BY THE TECHNIQUE I DESCRIBED. And he’s wearing it to make a video like the one I described!!!

I did not envision him making this video with this kind of presentation though. In retrospect, I should have figured he’d be more upbeat than that.
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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aimmyarrowshigh replied to your post: aimmyarrowshigh reblogged your post and added: …

JSYK, none of my comments about the post were @ you, they were at the OP. I guess my bottom line is that the finance parts of any industry are going to be in favor of a legal distribution method, and that a hypothetical about how it’d have to be created if it were created today is fundamentally a different thing than what a library is, and that’s what you’re talking about – something fundamentally NOT a library. The OP’s post was about libraries, specifically, as they .

I get that your comments weren’t @ me, I’m not, like, mad, but unless there was a source link I didn’t see that led back to something radically different than the like, fifteen words of that post, I have to be the one to tell you, since I seem to be tagged in on this, that what you’re responding to is a wonderful passionate thing, but it’s not the original post. You’ve constructed a really interesting and elaborate thing there, and that’s just not. Not what’s in the post. 

Libraries exist, and have done so for a long time, and that’s great. There are industries that exist around libraries, and that’s also fine and complex and lovely.

The point is, no one would have an idea like that now. It would not happen. There are many, many reasons why that would not happen, and many of them are because of complex real-world things, and it’s all kind of nonsense because it’s a hypothetical situation with no supporting worldbuilding going on. To truly consider it, you’d have to make a bunch more stipulations, and that post was like, fifteen words long, so clearly, those weren’t made. 

But I reblogged that post, and I’m not an ignorant idiot for doing so, because it was an excellent, succinct way of summing up an enormous systemic problem that we currently have in our society, which is that:

Good ideas that both do society a lot of good and also allow for lucrative and productive industries to form and sustain themselves marvellously, would never happen now, because our society is decadent and depraved and stupid and greedy and controlled by people who do not have the best interests of anyone but themselves in mind.

It’s wonderful that you’re passionate about the publishing industry and libraries, but that wasn’t what that post is about. If I were in a more robust mood and had more time and energy to learn about it, I’d love to do that. I just felt like I should defend myself, since you seemed so upset about the content of that post. I understand that you didn’t mean to @ me, but I still felt that I should defend the content of my blog.

Again, it’s wonderful that you’re passionate about publishing. But this was a commentary on a hypothetical. We don’t disagree about anything, except that I was in this case willing to use hypotheticals as an argument, and you don’t seem to be. 

But I’m really all set; I’m not feeling well and I’m exhausted and there are gunshots going on right outside my yurt, and so I’m really, really not interested in talking about this. I’m sort of heartbroken and disgusted about the publishing industry as it is; I long dreamed of working in it, but realized as an undergrad that I would never have my shit together enough to do so, so I honestly don’t want to think about it now either. All my dreams are dead, just some of them don’t know it yet. I’m very tired, I hurt very much, and I don’t really want to talk about any of it anymore. 
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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oh wow that guy just fired a gun literally twenty feet from the door of my yurt, I was not exactly expecting that! 

oh country living. At least I was forewarned enough to know he wasn’t firing *at* me. But gosh that was loud, I’m glad I wasn’t asleep yet. 
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Someone was left unattended with some markers for a bit today, and made some choices with those markers. Another of today’s choices was the Princess Captain America dress. I can’t really judge; both of those choices were perhaps choices I would also make.
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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kimmiesue13 replied to your post: This morning I took a tortilla, spread homemade…

Do you have a particular recipe for refried beans? I loathe the canned ones.

It took me a while to work it out actually, because it’s not really a recipe so much as a procedure, and I had to kind of separate the value from the window-dressing in the recipes. 

Basically, you cook a bunch of pinto beans however you like – I pressure-cook them, but you can slow-cook or whatever, or even buy a can of precooked pinto beans. The point is you have to have some pretty well-cooked, soft pinto beans and you have to save the liquid they were cooked in.  

You drain the beans out of the liquid, saving the liquid, and you take a wide-bottomed pan and melt a little bit of fat in it – lard or oil or whatever you like, though I wouldn’t use butter, it browns too fast – and you start sauteeing the cooked beans. After a few minutes, you add a bit of the cooking liquid and start mashing the beans in the liquid (you can use a potato masher, or I just use a fork, or the back of a large wooden spoon) and you just keep stirring and mashing and slowly adding liquid until the beans are mostly mashed and a little watery. Then you stop mashing and adding liquid but keep stirring until the water starts evaporating out and it’s thickened a bit. It’ll still SEEM thin, but it’ll look “right” and it thickens as it cools. You can puree if you don’t want ANY bean bits. 

You can stir in seasonings as you go or once it’s cooked but before it cools – I usually stir in some roasted garlic while I’m mashing the beans. If you like them spicy you could stir in some tabasco sauce or taco seasoning or whatnot. Especially if you cook the beans yourself you will probably want to add some salt.  

It took me about three tries to get it right – the first try came out super bland but the right texture, and the second I didn’t cook the beans long enough and it was really chewy, bordering on crunchy. But you kind of get a feel for it after a few tries, and beans are relatively cheap. Good luck! 

My mother’s recipe for refried beans is my favorite in the world. She uses canned black beans but you can also cook your own. And for her method, you first mash the beans (like a 15-oz can or so) with a quarter stick of butter in a high-sided bowl with a fork. Then you cut up half an onion and cook it low and slow until it’s soft in another quarter stick of butter. Once that’s soft, you add your mashed beans, and maybe dump in some of the bean liquid if it’s too thick, and cook it for a while until it starts to get really thick. Then the last thing you do is add half of one of those little cans of tomato paste, stir it up really well, make sure it’s all heated through, and then serve. Those are my favorite refried beans in the entire world and I would live on them entirely if I could.
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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aimmyarrowshigh reblogged your post and added:

That’s still untrue, because that isn’t how…

?? We’re just talking across each other here. Libraries aren’t like Pirate Bay and nobody said they were? Also, yes, as I said, the book industry has grown up around libraries existing, and so of course is quite dependent on them; it would be astonishingly stupid if that were not the case. But look at the regressive and bizarre way ebook lending is handled, for example. The idea wouldn’t get off the ground now; as a society we apparently no longer hold any truck with ideals of things for common education or improvement or any of those things. [The actual regular everyday humans of our society do, but our government is so far divorced from our actual interests that it’s sort of laughable if it weren’t fucking horrifying.]

But I’m all set talking about this, since it was only a stupid light-hearted eyerolly reblog anyway, and you’re not actually reading what I’m saying, so there’s really no point discussing this and i don’t really have the time or attention to devote to a hypothetical argument illustrating the dire state of our contemporary society that has turned its back on much of what made any of the good in it possible. So I’ve actually PostBlocked the original and I’m all done talking about it! 

Cool? Cool! 
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She knows she’s fabulous. (via kerbiegibbs)
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this is… pointedly untrue… like literally ALA was last weekend and publishers fucking LOVE libraries and lobby FOR them to remain open and well-funded… how do you think libraries acquire their thousands of books? libraries buy more books than any single consumer ever could or would and publishers recognize that and rely on it?? this post is ridiculous.

Well, right, because libraries already exist. If there weren’t already a system in place that the industry had grown up around, and today someone thought, “People should be able to access knowledge for free”… Hm! Kind of like the Internet.

So no,  book industry lobbyists are not out to shut libraries down, but if libraries didn’t already exist, in today’s climate of protecting the monied classes above all else, you bet your ass there’d be subscription tiers, just like the Internet’s gonna have now. Ain’t nothin’ going to exist in this world if the ruling classes can’t make money off it.

I did mean to tag-essay something like that before I reblogged the post initially, but I was feeling lazy and figured it was self-evident that this isn’t a post about shutting the hundred-plus-year-old concept of public libraries in the US down, but rather, if libraries were thought up today, as the post says. 
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A post shared by Bridget Kelly (@bomberqueen17) on Jul 18, 2017 at 5:12am PDT

Here come the stars of the show! Chicken processing day. (at Laughing Earth)
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Well I just had to turn the music I was playing off because it’s thundering and raining so hard I literally couldn’t hear it, but– mostly, there aren’t any leaks through the canvas roof, and I seem to have a correct enough assemblage of shower curtain and vinyl tablecloth and 2x6 and so on at the door to keep that from pouring water in across the floor, so all is well in yurtville at the moment. The thunder and lightning are mildly terrifying but fortunately I’m not particularly afraid of that sort of thing. 

Let’s hope I sleep okay. It’s another slaughter day tomorrow. I cleaned the whole area today, and since the Assistant Livestock Manager wasn’t done washing eggs when I got out there, I lavished a lot more time on the kill room than I normally do. (The evisceration room is the one that’s all stainless steel and plastic walls, and I always scrub the bejesus out of it and bleach it super good, because I eat those chickens too. But I like the kill room to be spotless too, it’s just harder to do.) 

I got back to the house after much longer than I’d meant to spend, but had consoled myself by nabbing a pitcher full of ice out of the ice machine, and made margaritas. And then, since it was 90, and Farmbaby wanted to go in the sprinkler, I grabbed my swimsuit and went out and joined her, to her very great delight, and we had a fine time, and I didn’t have to take a shower after all. (I hate to shower right before slaughter day; slaughter night is like, my one guaranteed day I’ll actually wash on the farm. The rest of the time, the policy is only to wash if someone’s going to see us, OR we’re so offensive no one can stand to be in the room with us. I was approaching the latter category after all my scrubbing– I put on a rubber apron to keep bleach off my clothes, and then sweated through my clothes from the inside, of course– but a trip through the hose sorted that acceptably. A trip through the hose is fine for human odors, but not for chicken-internals odors. Soap must be employed, for those.)

So. Margaritas, and then a lovely dessert (local-harvested blueberries, in a pie! a neighbor is ill with Lyme disease so his crop is going unharvested, and he has called upon neighbors to help him out, and we’ve obliged; he gets a slice of pie in return, and wouldn’t take any more than that)– and then I sprinted out the door as the rain started, so I could get out here before it. Not just to avoid walking in the rain, but also in case I’d left anything unsecured. Which, somewhat, I had, but it was mostly fine. 

Anyhow. I thought this thunderstorm was going to pass on, but it’s lingering. I ought to look at the radar but I’m resisting. 

Sleeping in the yurt is like… one night I lie awake the whole night for no reason, the next night I lie awake a lot because there’s a leak or sound or mosquito or something, the third night I sleep twelve hours like I’ve been tranquilized, the next night I get a totally normal 7ish hours of sleep, the night after that I sleep like the dead again and almost miss my alarm, then I lie awake staring at the rafters the night after that for no reason… It’s annoying. Clearly, I can sleep out here just fine. Clearly, the space is comfortable and to my liking, and even the shitty air mattress is comfortable. (It’s developing some… quirks, but it holds air for the nonce, so I won’t complain, but my next one will be a futon mattress or something.) But I’m just a miserable middle-age-approaching cuss, and my sleep is apparently Delicate.

I can hear the stream now, over the rain. It’s lovely but not all that restful. At least I know, 1000% certainly, that this bank of the stream literally never floods. (It didn’t flood during Irene or Sandy, it didn’t flood last month when a random thunderstorm higher up the mountain dumped 2 inches in 2 hours and almost took out the culvert by the granary… we may lose the opposite bank, and the basement, and the picking garden, and the yurt might blow the fuck over, but this bank won’t flood.)


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