far too much writing, far too many photos

Well, it’s been a spectacular September day here, the kind of day that sometimes makes me reluctant to go anywhere ‘cause I’ll miss how beautiful it gets right here around the house.

I’ve spent the day quietly, putzing around the house, sometimes being productive, sometimes being anything but (cut some firewood, waterproofed boots for the coming cold season, played hearts with my ‘puter, ate two breakfasts, blahblahblah). About an hour and a half ago, I hear a noise out on the road, the noise of a vehicle toiling. Turns out to be a tractor heading uphill, towing a serious grass-cutting rig. They go by, continue on up the road, slow down by my uphill neighbor’s house (those neighbors now gone back to the city where they spend the winter).

Uh-oh.

A few minutes later, out on the hillside behind that house, the tractor engages the cutting machinery and begins bush-hogging that uphill section of my neighbor’s land. Since then the tractor’s been moving back and forth out there, clearing the land so it doesn’t get wildly overgrown. Noise of the agricultural/industrial type, the wind blowing from that direction so it’s coming in every window on that side of the house, loudly, clearly. Kind of like the rural version of the sound of a dentist’s drill.

It’ll pass.

It’s the perfect day for that kind of work. For almost any kind of work, really. Or leisure. Breezy, temperature in the 70s. Skies blue with thin high clouds in advance of tomorrow’s forecast rain. Insects singing steadily away in the grass and undergrowth, butterflies hanging around, what birds haven’t taken off for southerly destinations are out making a living, scooting around in search of food. A good day for a hike or to plant oneself in a chair with a good book (neither of which I’ve done just yet).

Two days ago, I had an electrician in to take care of a bunch of little things that, er, have needed to be taken care of. I’m not sure what it is, but with the turning of summer to autumn, I’ve found myself on a getting-things-done-around-the-house binge. For instance, there have been wasps hanging around, as they sometimes do, and there have been points of access they’ve found in the casements around two different windows. Entry points they use to find shelter as the nights get colder and the days shorter. Some of them get into the house and start bumping against the windows in the living room, I catch them in a glass and return them to the great outdoors. Others find their way in and settle into the channels in which the storm windows and screens slide up and down, huddling together to try and stay alive as the temperature falls outside. Not a huge problem ‘cause in the cold weather they can’t fly or move quickly – if I slide the storm windows up and down, the wasps come tumbling out, I scoop them up and toss them out. But it’s become chronic enough that the time had come to find the access points and close them off. This morning I found myself awake FAR, FAR too early, and when I finally rousted myself, I got the impulse to go outside and take a look around the windows before the temperature climbed enough that the wasps would get active. Pulled out the extension ladder, snooped around and sure enough, each of the two offending windows had two small holes drilled in the wood in the horizontal track just above the aluminum casement, possibly to allow for air flow/moisture escape when the storm windows are down. Covered them up with weather stripping, also covering some other possible points of access around the casement. The wasps have been flying around the house as usual this afternoon, but so far no intruders. Very satisfying.

I’ve become such a rustic.

Tractor man has finished with the uphill section of my neighbor’s land and come downhill to the section just above my property line. Man, that’s a noisy rig.

So two days ago, I get the electrician in to take care of a bunch of small stuff that’s needed to be tended to since I bought this place 3+ years ago. Small things, but lots of ‘em, all left over from previous owners — work not completely done or not done well or done sloppily. 8:20 a.m., there’s a knock on the door, a pudgy guy shows up, the work commences. He labors steadily – not fast, but steady – knocking off one job after another. Somehow this collection of simple jobs gets longer and longer. I’ve now got outlets in a couple of places I’ve wanted them, he put in CFGI outlets in all the wet areas. I remember the house inspector I hired when I bought the place had expressed some concern about the sockets in the living room, something about them not being grounded correctly. The electrician checks them out, we discover they are indeed ungrounded, he rectifies that. And on and on, me learning in the process about further work I may want to get taken care of at a future date. Eight hours later he’s gone, leaving two or three things yet to be taken care of. He’ll be back Monday a.m. for those.

The guy reminded me very much of my friend Woody, an intelligent, kind-hearted, distinctive-looking character. There were moments when the electrician would walk into the room, I’d experience a brief, slightly disorienting moment of adjustment as I’d go through the Woody/not Woody thing. Strange.

I get the feeling Tractor Man is going to be working out there for a while. Maybe I should pull out the lawn mower and cut some grass over in that direction, make my contribution to the decibel level.

Later.

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