Monday, July 30, 2007

two too tarred to tango

Of course this post has nothing to do with tango-ing and everything to do with being tired. The ( exterior of the ) barn will be finished by the end of the week. Right now it lacks trim, gutters, and oh yeah, a ROOF. And doors. Meanwhile the old barn demolishing goes on and on, since it seems to take us just as long to take the barn apart (so that we can re-use a fair amount of the lumber, to save $$) as it did to initially raise it. Except then, we were 20+ years younger. And I feel it in every aching joint. Never thought I'd miss my knees so much.

As a result of no roof, it has been necessary to move the hay yet again to get it under cover. I'm on a first name basis with some of it ("Hay there, you're looking a little tattered and pale, bale"). I feel guilty as hell for leaving the horses with no shelter during these daily downpours and thunderstorms, even though it's warm and the storms blow over in 15 minutes. I'm sure we will never get all the overlapping parts done, like: run the water and drain lines, then pour the concrete, THEN get a plumber to hook everything up, after we find a sink cabinet for the old sink, but the concrete will need to be painted in the tack room where the sink goes first, and the stalls can't be assembled until the floor mats are down, but first the stall floors have to be covered in crushed stone, and then tamped with a tamper which we will have to rent, after we get the crushed stone delivered and moved inside the barn after we rent a skidder, and after the floor mats are on, they have to be covered in coarse sand, which will also have to be ordered and spread, and before the horses can go in the stalls, we need to put wood shaving bedding in, which will have to be delivered, once the spot for it is concreted and a low cinder wall on three sides built. And a cover for it fabricated. And the tack room will have to be built so I can get all the tack out of the self-storage place (more $$) and don't even get me started with the electrical wiring, which must be done by a genuine electrician and inspected before the power company will run the line to the barn, once they put in a new pole. Madness, all of it, and at night I go over and over it all in my mind, trying to get it all straight chronologically. That's what the burning smell is. Fried brain.

And we get filthy on a daily basis, which means more dirty clothes, and towels, and who has time for laundry?

And we pick up the new puppy this weekend.

Anyway, that's my rant for today.

In a different vein, I have finished the Harry Potter book and found it quite satisfactory. I have a novel partly finished, and as the plot unfolds, if I need to put some twist in earlier, I go back and edit the earlier chapter. So I am in awe that J.K. Rowling figured the entire **series** out, covering 6 years and more, before book one was printed and thus beyond editing, so the continuity of the plot would be uncompromised. But you know what part made me cry? >>>>>>>>> Spoiler alert <<<<<<<<<<

It's when, all alone in the Forbidden Forest, all the battle done and friends lost, Harry held the Snitch to his lips and whispered, "I am about to die." This resonated with me in a way I couldn't have expected, and which moves me still. Because I too faced self-selected death, twice, all alone and lost in my pain. I didn't succeed, and have overcome some or most of my pain. And I am here and thus can lose myself in Hogwarts and Harry, and enjoy more and more of life. Touch wood.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lesson Four

Here is the last lesson in the course, the topic was "light". The first is of Maybe (sis) and Willie (bro) in a rare moment of accord. In the next shot, she was bitting him.

This is a photo taken of a stained glass window in a local Morgantown house, built by W.E. Price in 1902. It is by Tiffany. I took this from the inside in the afternoon.

I had a better shot compositionally, but the window itself was burned out. (Need a better camera, hint hint). Still this Sony Cybershot doesn't do badly for a point-and-shoot.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lesson three

Here are the two photos I submitted for photo class lesson three, on "Framing". We were told to park the car, walk 100 steps, and take 6 photos without moving more than 5-6 steps. I went to Dorsey Knob overlook, parked and walked about 200 steps straight uphill; but it was only 100 steps going down (lol). Then I took one shot on the way out. They've been tidied in Photoshop a little to remove phone poles and a water tower. I think these two turned out well. And oh, the leafy green vine growing up so photogenically on the tree in the bottom one? Poison ivy.

In other news, the new barn is underway. Have you ever found, when you are talking to the lead man on any given project, that he explains everything, describes all the special details they take care of, etc. You think "wow I got a sharp outfit for this". This illusion lasts until the work crew shows up, and if you are so unwise as to watch them, they basically slop the thing together and split for the day. And you think, wait a minute, weren't they supposed to...? I am determined to not watch anymore. When the thing is all done, and before we sign off on the job, I'm going to go over the thing with a fine toothed comb and have them fix all those "details" before they get the final check. What do I care if they think I'm being a bit**? It's not like we'll ever see them again.

We pick up the new Newfoundland black and white puppy on Aug 4th in Ohio. Hopefully I won't break my ankle while this one is settling in and she'll bond to me instead of DH. I tried taking Raven to obedience class, but she just basically dragged me around and ignored me, so last week DH took her. The instructors actively promote the use of a "gentle leader", that's a collar that goes across the muzzle and high on the neck, the theory being that if you control the head, the body will follow. But you know what? It doesn't work all that well on big strong dogs, and we have returned to the chain collar. That is what we have used on our dogs for the last 35 years, and none of them suffered any Post Traumatic Stress, so I guess it wasn't that "cruel" but it did certainly prevent them from dragging you across the floor, on account of needing to breathe. So if it Ain't broke, don't Fix it. Oh yeah, and the "gentle leader" costs 4X what a chain collar does.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A wee bit Late

Happy Fourth of July!

This is a photo I took for the photo course lesson two, which was about "shapes". Nice for the Fourth, yes?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Puppy Update

The "puppy" will be 6 months old this week. Here are two photos of her getting some aquatic exercise.

This is easy exercise time for us, as she gets pooped pretty quickly and will take a nap as soon as we dry her off. Of course, the pool filter gets a little hairy. And you'd think she would smell better, but no. Her coat is so dense and oily that she isn't even completely wet when she is done swimming. Kinda like a duck, only bigger! Around 75 pounds. now.

And we pick up puppy #2 the first of August (what was I thinking??)