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January 2, 1999: Finally, on November 7th, the plumbers came and I have hot and cold running water... I have to keep it running as it will freeze but that's OK... The stove is installed in the plywood counter... one day to be tiled... the windows are still not trimmed in or out and I didn't get hay around the house so the floors are very cold but when it seems unpleasant I just read the first few paragraphs of this journal.

August 5, 1999: I've spent a lot of time on the grounds this summer... began a rock wall in the Spring... it's 3/4 finished and I love it... stone steps down through the middle... built some smaller rock walls in other places. Still no bridge across the stream and it doesn't look like that will happen this year. I started trimming the inside of the front windows.. got the stool made... built clothes closet and storage shelves last week and it looks great and I am much more confident now about building the rest of the shelves and cabinets... I broke down and ordered a kitchen counter which will arrive on August 20... that should really inspire me to get to work on the cabinets. But I need a newer car and I just found one and am in the process of negotiating. That purchase will slow down the renovation process for a while as i will be on a very tight budget.

Finally got the hive moved to its permanent spot and the bee girls seem to be doing fine. I have all the materials to build a shed off the back of the house to accommodate my motorcycle which i just had overhauled to the tune of $500 and have ridden once... but it needs a home... it's in my mothers garage right now. Which is where I built a canoe rack suspended from the collar ties. The boat will be secure there. I spent a couple days refinishing the gunwales... They were severely weathered from spending a winter outdoors. Sammy and I have only been down the Kill once this summer... Fourth of July... my new tradition... being on the river for the spectacle of the 4th on the Battenkill... There was a raft with about forty boisterous people on it and several trash barrels of beer. They were having a great time... and we were too. So I do get to have fun sometimes.

August 22, 1999: I can't resist the sound of heavy equipment, ( I'm always thinking it will be a backhoe to rent on the fly) so when i heard something coming up the road i went to the door and there was a neighbor on his 1953 Ford Tractor, pulling a utility pole. He brought it up to his house and then went back down. When I heard him come up again, I stood right in the doorway to wave and when he saw me he stopped and said he was going to ask me if I would like one of them. Is the Pope Catholic? I got very excited and told him how I needed a bridge over my stream and didn't know where I'd get something long enough and he said he'd bring me two of them and that he did. I offered to pay him but he wouldn't hear of it. They are both 15 feet long and one of them is very thick. That one will be particularly hard to move. Using the handcart, I've jockied the thinner one down near my garden shed... The other one flattens the tires on the handcart. I'll have to move that one with skids and levers. So it looks like I may have a bridge before winter after all.

August 24, 1999: Picked up my new kitchen counter today and Sammy came down to help me install it. This is a big improvement on the kitchen front. I've got one utility pole across the stream and the heavier one is at the edge. I'm going to wait til Sammy comes down again cause this one could kill me if it got away. The bridge will be strong enough to support my car.

June 11, 2001: Where have I been?! I forgot about this diary... Last June, 2000, I had a serious infestation of carpenter ants in the north gable end and had to strip off the siding to get at them. They had almost totally eaten through the last rafter. It was painful killing them and I was crying while I was doing it. After repairing the damage, I resheathed the entire side and put on cedar shingles. I still have the top of the gable end to shingle. Last month I finally made a set of kitchen shelves and I'm very pleased with the way they turned out. I still don't have a ceiling in the house and the windows are not trimmed inside and two are not trimmed outside. I have just acquired a magnificent outhouse, made by a friend of old hand-hewn barn beams and using post & beam construction. It is not yet ready for use. It will be a sanitary outhouse, meaning there is a sealed holding tank and vent stack. It will be maintained as compost so certain rules must apply for its proper use. It will also be sided with cedar shingles and inside lined with cedar boards as well.

The shade garden in the front is looking lovely and I spend a lot of time on it and now I've moved into the woods area, selectively cutting trees and planting. I've planted spruces, lilacs, birches, flowering plants, culinary and healing herbs. Mare gave me a big white rhododendron. My dream is to have rock and mortar raised beds of medicinal herbs. I have primrose growing, bee balm for the bees, who, sadly, died last winter, I think from freezing because the colony was too small to create enough warmth. They had been medicated so it was not the evil varoa mite. I will wait until next spring to start a new colony. Meanwhile, neighboring bees are coming to pick at the old honeycomb. I am studying and learning to identify trees and plants.

I haven't been anywhere or done anything other than work on websites and work on the house. This year I have to get a new roof on my shed, reside the south end of the house and repair the flood damage along the stream bank. Both my bridge and the shed are threatened. So there will be a lot of rock slinging this summer. Since the flood, my stream is much more beautiful and now I will keep it maintained.