more wood & politics

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Great weather today, lots of sun and heat.  Thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon.

I must have overdone it yesterday cutting firewood because I’ve felt it since: Sore stomach muscles last night and a painful stitch in my side this morning.  My powerful 056 Stihl chainsaw was fine thirty years ago but now it’s just too heavy for my old bones.  The smaller and much lighter Poulan saw is fine on limbs and small trees but doesn’t cut the larger logs very well.  The big Stihl will chomp through a 14 inch thick log without any strain – it’s just me.

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U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the only Vermonter running for president…

Bernie has been our favorite politician of any stripe for many years and, now that he is in the national arena in a big way, politics has become far more interesting. Bernie’s message, for those who may not know, has not wavered in all the years and different offices he’s attained. It’s a social and reasonable message which makes sense to most Vermonters who have watched in disgust as the country plunged deeper and deeper into authoritarianism, corporate-led money worship, and the politicization of religion.  All factors leading to the despair of ordinary citizens.

Trash Talk!
Trash Talk !

I am not speculating that even if Bernie won, things would immediately turn humanistic but that the turn would have an eventual chance.  The campaign will be an ugly one, no doubt of that, but if anyone is able to take the heat it’s Bernie Sanders.

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Jeanne, my wife, is on the road to recovery after battling Lyme disease since the beginning of July.  She still has a couple weeks of antibiotic treatment to go but her appetite’s returned and she is gradually taking back control of her household – pushing me back to my place.  Cooking is still my domain, and she seems to appreciate my doing it, however I don’t cook very ‘heart-healthy’, so I anticipate losing my job there as well.

Off Nevis. Feb. 2015
Off Nevis. Feb. 2015

Keeping house is an all consuming job and she’s welcome to take it back – that way I can get back to my boat!

sickness, health and wood

It came as a surprise, suddenly my new web server that had taken almost a month to set up went dark, no access, no explanation.  And none needed, really, because it’s always operator error, always.  So, a lot more time was spent and now the site is back up.  For how long, no one knows.

hosta_flowers
Summer’s half-way indicator.

For the second, or maybe even a third time Jeanne contracted Lyme disease from the deer ticks that live in abundance in the woods and fields around our house up here in Ira.  This time it’s been a bear.  She ran a high fever for two weeks and had no appetite, a bad case of trots and aches and pains all over.  It hasn’t completely gone away and its been twenty-one days today.  The only good thing is that the doctor prescribed an antibiotic early, even before they had a positive diagnosis and that, we hope, will beat the bug.  Lyme has some ugly and debilitating results if left untreated and treatment has to be started as soon as possible to be effective.  It has become a real epidemic in New England and should get a lot more medical attention, I feel, than it has received.

Walkabout, our sailboat, sits alone these days out on Lake Champlain with no one to sail her.  We want to get back aboard, and will as soon as we can.  There is a whole month of summer left and another after that before she has to come out of the water for the winter.

woodpile
Firewood, they say, warms you twice. When you carry it, and when you burn it.

With winter coming I’ve been playing lumberjack as often as I can with six trees lopped off and cut into stove length blocks waiting to be split.  It takes a dozen moderate size ash, oak or cherry trees to provide us enough firewood each year, about two and a half cords, a four by four by eight foot stack x 2.5. That’s a lot of wood – and sweat.