Sunday, September 8, 2013

Yosemite Questions and Cleaning Stall #3

Today the smoke from the fire didn't seem quite as dense, but it hung around longer -- well into the afternoon.  Even with the windows shut tight, the odor manages to invade the house.  This evening I wrote a letter to the Yosemite ranger staff in their educational branch.  I asked for their opinion of whether they thought of our classes visiting the park in late October, as we have for the past four years. Assuming the fire is out by then (and it's still slated to be by September 20), the trip there would be as safe as before -- we'd just be traveling through miles of burned out forest.  The children want to go and part of me says that this would be dramatically educational.  Another part of me says that this may be too dramatically educational and not a good thing for some of them to witness.  Just for me, I don't want to see it because I know it will make me very sad... Well, we'll see what the rangers say.

  I'm in the process of developing a whole new set of upper body muscles:  Bruce and I have spent the past two weekends cleaning out the third stall of our barn -- this is where we store all our feed except hay, animal cages and carriers.  This is also the stall where we stupidly stood by as six or so Muscovy ducks nested, raised babies, pooped, scattered feed and generally trashed the place.  The mouse invasion of last year didn't help much either and the whole stall just reeked.  So we decided the only solution was to scoop out as much of the gravel flooring as possible.  Today we finished scraping and shoveling out the last of the gravel-laced-with-stinky-stuff into the front loader of the Kubota and dumping it over the side of the dam.  The next step is ordering a load of decomposed gravel to replace the stuff we took out.  And then we get to shovel it in and finally get the displaced contents (now thoroughly washed) settled back in.

This is a lot of work to put into a small space (which is one reason we've put it off for years), but it's satisfying to be finally getting this area in order.  Plus I get new muscles in the bargain.  Win.

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