March & April, 2000

--00/03/12: Today is the fourth sunny, non-rainy day in as many weeks. I've had 4 shop days in the last month and a half and I have treasured them all. Most of those accomplishments are posted elsewhere on this site, but the other events, which are too numerous to list, seem less significant...

Much work has been accomplished on the guest cottage project, but it's getting expensive: by the time it is completed in another couple of months, it will have cost me nearly $30,000 to renovate a 400 square foot barn; not something about which one would wish to brag. The nephew-in-law who was going to do clean-up, ditch digging and painting never arrived (dead radiator), so I've been out there slogging away with a sprained forearm, amply fortified by my good friend Ibuprofen (2400mg/day now...).
 The torrential rains, which started just after the new trenches containing water, gas, electric and sewer connections had been completed, meant we couldn't flush toilets for several days; SWMBO was not amused...
 On the other hand I'm glad I'm not a plumber. Here in a brief non-rainy interval, Corey, the nice guy from Maples Plumbing (lowest bid...) fills a few holes after pumping out the excess slop from the new trenches, not to mention our rain-flooded septic tank.
Then, after a record 19 days of continuous rain, which ended with a ferocious wind storm, the fences finally gave way on both sides of the property. The lowest repair estimate is over $4,000; so much for the new tablesaw. Baily is name of the chubby, friendly dog next door on our West side and it's nice to have him come visit at least. But the horses to the East have been moved to a less soggy meadow and I miss giving them carrots.
Sometimes in the dead of winter, with cabin fever running rampant, it is hard to believe that there will ever be another spring. But today, with the sun out at long last, with the plum trees blossoming, with flower petals coating the driveway, with the song of bees overhead I can almost believe in it again.

Saturday, April 1, 2000, 3:PM: Oh shit what have we done to so offend the gods? What have our critters done to warrant such fates? Surely I will never know. Every time a loved one dies so does a part of me. When my time comes I fear there will be nothing left to die.

Saturday, April 01, 2000, 4:25 PM:

--Judy and I are just back from saying our farewells to Careese. She was nauseous and had been vomiting all last night and twice more before we got there. The doctor said that even if we had taken her to UC Davis for dialysis it would only add a week to her life. I had to sign the paper to have her killed. There's just no other way to say it. I've never had to do something like that before and I pray to whatever gods that inhabit this universe (or any of the other universes) that I never have to do anything like that again. It went against everything I believe.

--My heart is broken again. I remembered what Mark Twain said that man is the only creature that can be skinned more than once. Likewise he is the only one that can have his heart broken more than once. Wrote something for the webpage and announced it to my friends and family lists, but it's not enough: it was ýrevisionist historyţ and said nothing about the part I played in her end. We went to see her and say our farewells and I told her she was going to play with White Doggie. What rubbish. Dead is dead. Ashes in a box expected in a week the doctor said and she wasn't even dead yet. Shit and damn.

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