Posted by: David | June 1, 2008

Welcome, June 2008

OK, so I’ll be back at work in a couple of days. This break has been nice. I think that I have been able to fully expand into the spacetime of my vacation, and yet managed to accomplish a fair number of tasks.

On Saturday, my friend Rebekah and I took a nice long bike ride. It had been her birthday during the week and I missed the little party, so we stopped in Hillsborough for lunch (my treat) at this lovely little seafood place called High Tide Take Out. She had a lobster roll and I had fried oysters! YUM. They were GREAT! No wonder this place is so popular.

We also saw this guy riding a pretty cool trike in Henniker. He said I could take a picture of it and put it on my blog. We chatted with him for a few minutes. Turns out that he has a WordPress blog too. He told us his story. He was diagnosed with MS some years back and eventually his balance started to go so he couldn’t ride a regular road bike any more. Stuart’s buddies pitched in and bought him this very cool trike. It has the longest chain you’ve ever seen and 27 speeds.

This man has some very nice friends.

Rebekah will be moving soon so we stopped by the U-Haul place to check out the truck that she’ll be renting to get all her stuff from Montreal. Just happened to notice that the U-Haul truck has a graphic of a road cyclist on it. Weird.

You can tell Rebekah’s really looking forward to moving.

We rode on through Contoocook up to Warner and back to Bradford. Her computer said 77km. Mine said 49.6 mi.

This is how Sunday went. The first day of June. Early on, an indigo bunting came to the bird feeder. Still no cardinals, and we’d had a pair nesting somewhere in our backyard brambles last year. We think the American Marten (my wife saw one a month or two back) has genocided them, the chipmunks, and the red squirrels. Either the marten, global warming, the precession of the equinoxes … whatever. Red birds, if you are reading this, please come back. The feeders are always full of sunflower seeds. Squirrels and chipmunks, you can just stay genocided. Sorry. Nobody likes rodents. Not even other rodents.

Yeah, the window is gross. It’s all bird snot I’m pretty sure. But see the pretty birdy!!

First thing is to get out to the barn a little after 7. Feed the horses their grain, turn them out, and clean up their stalls. Also I get the stalls ready for the evening by filling their water buckets and putting their portions of hay into the big rubber tubs. Their hay gets hosed down.

30 pm. Justice, the white pony, wears a mask to protect her eyes from the sun.
This shot is actually from about 3:30 pm. Justice, the white pony, wears a mask to protect her eyes from the sun.

After feeding dog and cat, I made myself a weird little breakfast. Usually on weekend mornings I whip up a nice bacon, eggs, and toast breakfast for my wife and I. In her absence, I made this mixture of 3 scrambled eggs, about a half cup of sweet corn (from last year’s crop which I posted about repeatedly), and some pitted calamata olives cut in half lengthwise. Topped off with 3 slices of sharp cheddar cheese, paprika, and onion powder.

The starch and sugar from the corn changed the consistency of the eggs somewhat. But in a nice way. Since I have completely cleared all the leftovers from the fridge, I might just make something like this for dinner.

After breakfast I readied for the Sunday trip to the dump (i.e. Transfer Station ). Oliver really likes this weekly outing. He jumps with joy (literally) when he sees the blue retractable leash thingy in my hand.

Ready to go!

After going to the dump, I thought it might be a good idea to take Oliver the to the site of the Route 114 cairn, for a photo op. Looked in the woods for the stones, but they were not to be found. They’ve been removed from the area. I did notice one interesting thing about the boulder Oliver’s standing on though. It’s got a big hole drilled in the middle of it. It would be a blasting hole that either wasn’t used, or maybe the charge didn’t go off. They did quite a bit of blasting when they upgraded Route 114 between Henniker and Bradford some years back. So the hole is pretty deep and about 3 inches in diameter. Isn’t that interesting?

This photo worked out pretty well, huh? I still don’t know where the cairn stones went.

Maybe Oliver has some idea. He’s pointing east southeast.

After that I finished up a little closet shelving project. Sorry, no pix of that. That’s our bedroom closet, and NOBODY goes in there. Suffice it to say that there are now umpteen shelves on which to stow the items bulging out of the closet. Umpteen. Count ’em.

On the garden front, all the beds are turned, fertilized, mulched, and ready to be planted. Except for the area behind the horse barn, which needs a little more landscaping. That’s where we plant the corn, tomatoes, and the vines like squash and pumpkins. Just a few hours of forkwork is what that area needs. Enough to give me a few blisters.

Most of the beds are unplanted yet. It’s much easier to get all the mulch (horse manure/bedding or oat straw) on first.

Mulch is key. At least 3 or 4 inches of whatever to keep the soil covered. Helps keep the moisture in and keeps the sun from baking the soil. And it rots into the soil, thus enriching it. When planting seedlings, you just make a hole in the mulch, dig down into the soil a bit (using hands preferably), pop in the seedling, water them in, and Bob’s your uncle. Been wanting to say that forever. I planted all the cabbages and brussels sprouts and they’re doing fine despite the notable lack of rain.



  1. I have a cardinal pair that come every day but I haven’t ever seen an Indigo Bunting at my feeder. He’s beautiful.I can hear the cardinal right now. It’s sounds like you accomplished a lot today.

    We don’t have martens around here but we do have coyotes which is why my cats are indoor cats. We also get foxes though I haven’t heard any this year.

    I love the photo of Oliver pointing. Too bad about the cairn.

    Your garden looks beautiful.

    I can’t look at your breakfast. It just makes me hungry. I like the idea of corn in eggs.

    I’m happy you enjoyed your break.

    🙂 Thanks Joan, it was a pretty productive day. I’m glad you are hearing the cardinal. That flash of bright red at the feeder is always so uplifting (the females are pretty too). We miss them (I sorta miss the chipmunks too, they kept Oliver very entertained), so, in our grief we confabulated the genocide stories. We have a bunch of animal reference books and the marten was the closest match to what my wife thinks she hallucinated, I mean SAW. But they’re pretty rare … and it makes a good story …

    Yeah Ollie did a pretty good job at that photo op.

    I thought that corn and eggs might work, but it needs further experimentation. And I must resist calling whatever I make a “frittata” as that makes my wife laugh at me. But DAMMIT, now that I have Wikipedia to back me up on this …

  2. Now I put that Oliver in as a post, and first I gave its real name, but then I remembered what I preach and acted accordingly, and changed the dog’s “description” to Jack Russell terrier, and I thought this would be a good example to show you what I mean by “nouns” and “names” that the Google spiders can find.

    Before I had “Dogmatic One” and “Oliver”, but not in 100 years will anybody google for any “dogmatic One”; ¿sabes?

    And now to take things even clearer even I will have to spend time trying to find your other oliver pictures in my blog, since they are not “described” in any standard way.

    And : I think I am going to change the title and the content of my “offline blog editor” post and make it a birthday post, though that parcel (that came from your sister and where the cat chose to rest) came at Christmas, because the Xmas market is a little rotten and not nice to get into.

    “His head is hung with ears that sweep
    away the morning dew…”

    I live in the shadow of a dog.

  3. I forgot : that quote at the end is Shakespeare : to be able to classify the dog post also as “poetry” and not just as “photography” I had to have some poetry, and look what I found !

    And how did I find out that this was a Jack Russell? From Moonbeam’s funny story. Remember she has always wanted a Chi***, but sometimes she also would have liked a Jack Russell like yours, but a Chi*** seemed more practical for various reasons, though a Jack Russell would be so nice….

    In the paper or somewhere she saw an add for a Chi***. They went and looked and got it at a discount for 100.–. They drove home all happy and the dog just such a härzige chaib.

    Got home, had a closer look at the Chi***’s face and what did she suspect? It is only partly a Chi and partly a Jack Russell.

    I say Chi*** because I have not yet learnt his complete name.

    Yes, it was great to see some sunshine coming Moonbeam’s way. 😀

  4. Almost 50 miles?!!! Wow!! I do good to get in 15.
    That blue bird is gorgeous!! We have an abundance of Cardinals, finches and hummingbirds.
    Okay, and why do you hose down the hay? Growing up, we always had horses, and never did that. What’s the purpose? I thought you were supposed to keep water away from hay.

    15 miles is great too Red. 50 miles sounds like a lot but most of the friends I bike with are “social bikers” – we like to ride and blab most of the time, so we don’t go that fast. And we sometimes stop for lunch.

    Like most of the photos I post, I up the “saturation” to 42 (yes Nimish, 42) then hit “Auto Correct” so the colors really pop out. So the indigo bunting be lookin’ extra blue.

    My wife told me to water the hay. Our horses are kinda old and they seem to like it better wet. It’s maybe a little easier for them to chew? I don’t know. Hay needs to be kept dry, you’re quite right. It’s only wetted down when fed to them. We ran out of the really good local green hay and had to buy some NY “cow hay”, my wife calls it, from our local feed store. It’s a little on the brown and dusty side. Waiting for the local guy to do his first cut in a few weeks.

  5. Small world! Stuart is also my friend although I am sorry to say I did not contribute to his bike. Wish I did. Although here is news — your biking inspiration pays off — my son just got his first “real” bike — a TREK mountain bike and might want to get some riding tips! I have missed your regular postings but I guess when you were binging on college pix and wore yourself out! Now that spring (exactly four days) is over and it is now summer (probably only 10) we are all awaiting good things from your garden.

    Yay on the bike for the little mensch! 😀 My only tips would be to wear highly visible clothing and get a good helmet and a rear-view mirror for it. Really important for riding on the road. They sell these at the bike shops. They take a little getting used to but it’s really important to know where the cars are. Sometimes car drivers don’t see you.

    Why am I not surprised that you know Stuart?

    Now that my darlin’s back from Carolina, some plants have gone into the ground. She told me to wait on the planting.

  6. 1. Stuart’s bike is awesome! It looks like a lot of fun, and what great friends he’s got.

    2. That blue bird is surreal. What is it? It should be called a Cobalt Finch.

    3. That thing you made to eat? It looks like it should be wrapped in a tortilla and you should share it with your horse while hunched over a campfire, listening for rattlesnakes.

    4. Oliver looks FABULOUS. Jeebus, he’s the most photogenic dog ever.

    5. Your garden looks so great…I’d like to walk around in it barefoot. 🙂

    Thanks Wendy, nice to read your comments again.

    I cheated on the indigo bunting pic, as I do on almost all my pix, by upping the saturation. Real life color isn’t bright enough.

    Next time you’re in New Hampshire please walk through the garden. We’d like our flowers to see you. 🙂

    I live in the shadow of a small dog …

  7. Congrats on the real *vacation* !! This is not easy to do or even always possible. I hope it sticks with you for months. I agree with Wendy.4 above: Oliver is totally fidogenic. OMG. If he were to take some of his “diamonds” and use them to print up a mess of 8 X 10 glossies of that shot on the car seat, with the blue thingy, and pawtograph them, I would buy one. Seriously. I would. I would spend real “money.”

    I am thinking about adding a dog to my little menage and if I do, I want my dog to take attitude and posture lessons from Oliver.

    Thanks vermonter. I think the vacation will definitely stick! As half-day Fridays start tomorrow and I have the next 3 Mondays off! It’s Big Vay-cay Mo! Till July anyway … And the scientists are now browsing and milling about the campus. They’re brilliant lunchtime entertainment.

    I’m afraid Oliver would make a very bad instructor as he tends to want to kill most creatures that are “not him”. The pix I’ve been posting lately are bigger (100-200K) so might be OK to print. I would also be happy to send you a high res copy.

  8. I’m with Vermonter on this. If you printed photos of that car photo of Oliver I’d buy one, too. He’s just the best dog model I’ve ever seen. I’m way, way behind on my dog diaries but I may have to get off my butt and add another page from Oliver’s Diary.

    As much as I’d love to make money off the dog, I am too lazy. But as mentioned to vermonter, I’d be very happy to email you the hi res version. Free. Consider it done. Oliver will blush when I tell him he’s almost famous.

  9. You know…I just love your picture posts…it’s almost like getting to spend the day with you! (in a non-obsessive, totally non-creepy way 🙂 )…and really, do you have any idea how cute Oliver looks in that close-up car shot??? 😉

    PS: no closet-shot? You frickin’ tease…

    Thank you Romi, that’s a sweet comment and sort of what I aim for, I guess. As much as I aim at all …

    Apparently Wendy and vermonter are ready to buy that pic of Oliver, so, yes I guess it has some appeal.

    Trust me, the closet is not interesting.

  10. Yeah, I’m impressed you managed to get that shot with that not-so-excited look on my face, it is precisely how I feel about moving-UGH. I don’t think I remember the cyclist on the truck either…weird. But that was a super fun day and a super fun bikeride and a fabulous lobster roll birthday lunch! Thanks Dave!

    You’re welcome Reba! It was a fun day. I didn’t notice the cyclist on the truck until seeing it in the photo.

    Was life imitating U-Haul Truck Art that day or what?!

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