The last time cousin-uncle Nick came to visit us, we taught him what it meant to be close to your food source, i.e. harvesting rabbits for dinner.
This time we brushed up on his chainsawing skills. Below the pond, where the water course was redirected after the dam was put in, a number of trees died in the overly wet hillside in the six years since the pond went in. The view of the mountains is beautiful from around the pond, so we took a stroll with the chainsaw to take down some of the dead treetops that were infringing on the view.
After a basic discussion on the principals of safely cutting down trees, Nick went to it.
He did quite well, and seemed to know it.
We dropped a tall ash tree into the pond as the first part of the plan to set up a walkway across the pond at the deeper part, allowing for pollywog-gazing, for Alexe and the kids, and diving, for anyone brave enough. It took a bit of peavey-work, the truck and some tow ropes, but with Nick's help, and the unimpressed audience of kids and ladies, we got it done.
The kids watching Elmo in Grouchland or something similar after dinner. Annaliese has a rough time with the dark side of any plot, and every damn kids flick has a dark side. She prefers to always watch movies with one of us in the room, and barring that, calls us in for companionship during the scary parts. Miss Jen filled in for us on this movie, and was in constant motion between the adult conversation around the fire, and the kid's movie watching station at the picnic table.
I think Alexe is still adjusting from her month of waking up by herself...
c.Nick, Jenn, and I went into Rutland on Friday for a series of truck related appointments.
On that front, since the tree limb fell on the truck, we have replaced the windshield, put on new tires, replaced all the bushings in the steering rack, had the front end aligned, and had the oil changed. And Alexe has been taken out for sushi on a date night. Thank you insurance company.
Anyhoo, while these things were happening, we were stuck in Rutland, while Alexe had a solo day at the cabin with the kids.
We explored the current Rutland, and some of Rutland's past, while having that continuing conversation about how to apply our lives to the root issues of the world, and not the symptoms. Jen held on like a champ through our hours long trek and chat.
The underside of a railway bridge, still in use:
An abandoned building that might have been many things in its day, the latest signage inside included stained and tattered Keebler Elves.
The stone fountain had a number of leaks, so I decided to pour a concrete liner. With a single piece of plexiglass I had on hand to use as a form, it took several stages of pouring, and finished with a very smooth inside edge.
Reading on the porch in the afternoon.
We're sticking with the golf, though the golf ball count keeps going down, and our golfing skills don't seem to be improving all that much.
c.Nick and Jen took on some firewood splitting before making dinner. They were more than a little handy to have around.
There's an organic chicken inside that dutch oven.
More stories on the porch.
With all the help around the cabin, there's been time for all sorts of relaxing activities. I have not had the amount of time I was hoping for to brush up on my guitar. Still fiddling with the same dozen chords and half a dozen songs.
The chef. That chicken was incredible, and those grilled brussel sprouts were delicious. Nick is a great guy, skilled, passionate, contemplative, with an incredible memory and some of the best people skills I've ever come across. Right now he's packing his brain, and you can feel the pressure building. I can't wait to see what results when all that raw knowledge and energy explode. With luck we'll time it right and be able to play off of each other.