Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Smoky Dawn — The Canadian Forest Fires

The sun rose in a smoky, yellow sky.
I woke up at 4:30 AM this morning because of a strong smell of smoke and kerosene. I tried to wake up my new husband by saying, "Smoke! Honey, there is a fire somewhere!" But there was no response. So I got up and checked everywhere inside the house, including the furnace and wood stove. I went outside in the cold dawn and checked the forest, the wood pile, I checked everything. The kerosene smell came and went. But the wood fire smell, as if an entire campground started their fires in order to cook breakfast all at once, continued and at times intensified. Finally at 5:45 AM, John got up and reminded me of the forest fires in Quebec. "Ohhhh," I said. "Thank goodness." That was an unfortunate choice of words, because many people in Quebec are suffering and working hard to stop the fires. But I was relieved to have confirmed that there was no fire here. In Portland, Maine the fire department is getting an unprecedented number of calls because of people fearing a fire nearby.

Conditions in Montreal are much worse than here.

Here is a map I made from the resources at https://nofc1.cfsnet.nfis.org/mapserver/cwfis/index.phtml. The red states are New England. The yellow star is where we live in Vermont.

The moon this morning in the western, hazy sky.
Waning gibbous moon, 88% of full


diigo it
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Granite Quarries of Barton Mountain, Part 3: Our Quarry

A year ago in April, John and I found this small quarry on my land way back in the woods. Amy has since told me that she had found it long ago, but she never told me about it. This quarry is not on the maps. John theorized that it was an exploratory quarry and when the seams of quartz were found, it was abandoned. But we have found (as you will see in Part 4 in the future) that this quarry was used to make our house.

Above: cut granite was never taken down the mountain.

Above: Buddy Cat (who always hikes with us at home) hears a mouse.


Above: a closeup of where Buddy heard the mouse.

If you have never seen an old, abandoned quarry, you could walk into it and not recognize it. Below: you can see the marks the drills made in the granite.

favicon.ico The Granite Quarries of Barton Mountain Set

favicon.ico A Walk in My Woods Set
diigo it


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The Granite Quarries of Barton Mountain, Part 2: The Raymond Paquette Sr. Conversations.

The Crystal Lake Falls Historical Association contains the text of a conversation with Raymond L. Paquette, Sr., a resident of Barton, in which he recalls the history of the granite quarries on Barton Mountain. Below you see the area that is spoken about. Below this image is a tighter image that shows my location on Barton Mountain in reference to these sites.

The altitude is in meters. The conversations below refer to the red push pins on the map. #1 is the bottom red pin, 2 is middle red pin and 3 is the upper red pin.

The text of the conversation with Mr. Paquette about the Barton Mountain Granite Cluster:

#1: John Barnard's Quarry "John Barnard's farm had falls on May Pond Brook, a grist mill for power, and four barns. across Route 16 and up Barton Mountain, John Barnard had a granite quarry. Later, Ryle Miller built a house on the grout pile at the Barnard Quarry."

#2: Pete Damon Quarry (on present-day Labrecque farm) "Pete Damon had a granite quarry. 1915 or later. Knew his granite. He built a lot of granite bridge underpasses for the cows to go under the road. The Labrecque farm had one and the Michael farm has one." "When I owned the present-day Michael farm there was a granite water tub in the old milkroom that was built by Pete Damon. The granite in that tub was four inches thick."

#3a: Harry Fisk Quarry (on present-day Michael farm) "The quarry covered four acres. A granite company had a four-year lease. They worked four years and then, gave up. A man named Ferguson worked this quarry after the company left. He worked alone and did hand-work only. They brought the granite to South Barton."

#3b: Harry Fisk Quarry (on Spiller Road, first mobile home on the left) "Very small quarry. His quarry never got electricity."

"In 1920 (plus or minus), electricity was brought to the first three quarries before anyone in Barton got electricity. Barton got this electricity from Charleston.

In the early times, almost all of the granite was cut by hand. Route 16 was dirt back then. When the granite was brought to South Barton, they used what they called 'shoes' to trig the wheels of the wagons that were loaded with the very heavy granite. These 'shoes' were made of cast iron at the Markland Company which was located on Water Street in Barton."

"In the 1920s, Richard Ryan made the gravestone for my little sister who is buried in St. Paul's Cemetery in Barton.

"In 1946, I bought the Fisk farms which consisted of three hundred and sixty acres of land. I used the electricity from the Fisk Quarry."

favicon.ico The Granite Quarries of Barton Mountain Set
diigo it


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A New Septic System, Part 1

Let’s take a step back in time to May 7, two weeks before the wedding. I had been told, and Amy had been told, that our septic system was fine. It was just wet because the land was wet. It has always been wet, we were told. Well, John took one look at the leach field and said, nope. . . the septic system has failed and has to be replaced. And he set about doing just that. In the photo above, you see John digging holes in the front yard for the septic design engineer for soil samples that the state requires.

The soil tests were done while Route 16 was being paved. Above, the flagman waved traffic through. One day, while getting the mail from the mailbox across the road, a driver nearly killed the flagman because he was speeding and didn’t stop until it was nearly too late. There usually isn’t this much traffic on the road here, but it had backed up after a long wait for the flag to change from Stop to Slow.

Above, one of four trenches dug for soil samples.

They found a drain pipe in one of the test holes. We found that this pipe comes all the way from a downspout on the house. The pipe ends at the catch basin way down at the bottom of the yard near the road. We have no idea why previous owners did this.

On the left is the metal of the catch basin that the town installed a long time ago. On the right, barely visible, is the end of the drain pipe from the previous photograph that drains a downspout on the house.

A few days after the holes were dug, this spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) (a chorus frog) was found at the bottom of the hole. It managed to crawl up the side of the hole and free itself. Peepers here make so much noise that you can’t talk on the phone without closing windows and going to an interior room!

The septic engineer has returned and surveyed the land for the state requirements. He has designed the new septic system and will submit his plans to the state. I hope the process is short! Part 2 of this series will return when there is something new to show.

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How I Went to King Arthur and Found My Future

John and me at the September wedding of my nephew
In January of 2009, the King Arthur blog had posted a recipe for pan de mie. It needs a special pan de mie pan, which I didn't have. Having nothing else to do and it being great weather, I went down to Norwich to the King Arthur store to get a new bread pan. I couldn't see the pan on the shelves as I roamed around the store. I got a clerk who told me that the pans were back ordered. And a man, who had been standing near by, said I could use his. I chuckled; we talked. And we roamed the store together. He had come to the store from New Hampshire to get a square spring form pan to make cheesecake for one. The store didn't have those either. But we talked about our kids, about cooking (which I really didn't do too much of), and we exchanged little bits of knowledge we had. I ended up buying a lot of brioche pans and mixes. He got more yeast.

We continued talking in the parking lot for so long that we went into Lebanon, NH for lunch. We never ran out of things to talk about, but I had to start my two hour ride home, so we reluctantly parted. We haven't been apart too often since then.

Yesterday, in Pageant Park, we were married. After being a widow for 16 years, I finally found a man who is fascinating, intelligent, outspoken, talented, tolerant, hard-working, giving to a fault, protective and loving. My children love him and the cats adore him. The grandchildren think he's the greatest thing around. We have expansive plans for our lives and are looking forward to the future. You've seen some of our adventures here in the blogs — many more await all of us!

I managed to take a few photos yesterday. Aaron took the wedding photos and they will be posted as soon as he transmits them to us.

Above: John and Catgirl walk on the beach
of Crystal Lake before the ceremony.

The view of Crystal Lake and the mountains
beyond it from Pageant Park.

Matt, Anna and Aaron chat while hanging onto the cars.

Left to right: Dan, Andrew and Xavier play volleyball.

Andrew

Anna

Ironman spends time with Daisy Dog (Anna’s dog).

favicon.ico Our Wedding Photos

diigo it
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Friday, May 28, 2010

LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for Trinity Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trinity Sunday
May 30, 2010

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm 8
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15



Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Teh Call ov Wisdum

1 Wisdom uses ALL CAPS
Understanding iz also uses ALL CAPS
2 She iz all like "OH HAI" on topz of a hill
She iz rite by teh roadz
3 She iz in ur cityz,
at yur doorz, olwaiz yuzin ALL CAPS
4 She sez "OH HAI, DOODZ
I IZ SPEAKIN TO U, DOODZ - ALL OF YUZ!!!SRSLY
22 CEILING CAT MAKEDED MEH FURST - BEFOR NETHIN ELSE WAZ MAKED.
23 I WAZ MAKDED FRM OLWAYZ - BEFORE TEH URF WAS HERE.
24 I WAZ BORNED WHEN DER WAZ NO OSHUNS, NO WATERS AT ALL.
25 BEFORE NE BIG MOUNTENS R HILLZ FUR CLIMBING WAZ MAKED I WAZ BORNED.
26 BEFORE TEH URF WAS MAKED R NE OF TEH DUST DAT MAKE KITTEHS SNEEZ I WAZ MAKED.
27 I WAZ MAIKEDED BEFOR CEILING CAT MAIKEDED HIMZ OWN HAWSE WER HE LIVZ FUREVUR WIF ALL GUD KITTEHZ HOO IZ DED - WEN HE MAKEDED TEH SKAI ON TEH URFS I WAZ DER - SRSLY I SAWDED IT WIF MAH OWN IEEZ.
28 I SAWED TEH CEILING CAT PUT TEH LEFT OVUR SHEEPS UP IN TEH SKAIZ AN DEN HE MAIKS DE WATERS DAT SHUUTZ UP IN DE SKAIZ AND MAIKS EVURYFING ALL WET - HE CALL DEM FOWNTANZ
29 DEN I SEEIZ HIM MAIKING DE LANDZ SO TEH KITTEHZ CAN STAY DRIEZ - CAWZ TEH KITTEHZ NOT LIEK TEH WATERZ NO WAI!!!.
30 DEN TEH CEILING CAT HE LET ME HALP HIM AN DIS MAIK ME VEWEE HAPPI
31 AN I LIEKDED TEH PEEPELZ TOO DEY MAIK ME HAPPI AZWEL.

Psalm 8

1 O Ceiling Cat,
u iz pretty ossum!
Ur cool n in teh ceiling.

2 Bebehs and kittehs drinkin milkz
dey sey dey liek u,
cuz u pwn teh noobs n stuff.

3 When im in ur outsied, lookin at ur heavns
stuf you maed wif ur own pawz
liek teh mun and teh strz
dat u put der

4 I wantz to no why you liek me and oteher lolcats.
Why you talk 2 us? srsly.

5 Ainjels is moar importent than us but only a littul.
You gives us lots gloriez and onnorz
and stuff that we can has on our hed.

6 We can has control of cheezburgers.
They has to listin to us cuz u sed so!

7 Aminals too.

8 And also burds and teh fishus too.

9 Ceiling Cat,
u is maed of win and ossum.

funny pictures of cats with captions
Romans 5:1-5
Happy Kittyz Wehn Dogz Bark

1 Lissenup, youse yammerin, wez miawing bout Ceiling Cat anna Kitten Jebus,
2 we seez Invisible Water Dish anna graze inna littrboxz, anna miaw-miaw to da Ceiling Cat.
3 More d00dz, webe yammerin bouts Tribbles, anna Trouble Wit Tribbles (datbe da Staw Twek, Season 2, Episode 15) makus gud catz;
4 anna keeps doon it, nice earz; anna nice paws, noses.
5 Miaws summore, slavin ta Ceiling Cat iz gud an youse bin miawin to da Hover Cat, gud fur youse, srsly.

funny pictures of cats with captions
John 16:12-15

12 i haz lots to say, lotz moar than u can hear rite nao.
13 but teh HovrCat iz coming, an he iz going to show u all troofs. he only speakz what he heerz frum ceiling cat, and mite even tell u teh futurez!!
14 he bringz teh glory to me cuz he takez my stuffz and showz it to u.
15 all teh stuffz teh Ceiling Cat haz iz mine and dat iz why i said teh HovrCat iz going to take my stuffz to show u.



Weekend Cat Events
Get ready now cuz the wild weekend is coming!
Board the Friday Ark at The Modulator (submit your post here)

Weekend Cat Blogging
(see the week’s& host to enter your WCB post in the comments for the weekend roundup)

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos
Optional Theme
(submit your post here)

The Carnival of the Cats
(submit your post here)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Snow, Oil, Dogs and Cellar Holes

On May 10, Ironman had the camera again and took photos of our oil delivery. We’ve never had to have a delivery in May, but it snowed the first two weeks of the month and we ran out of firewood. We should be set with oil now for a couple of years.

Then the 4 year old took the camera into the room that John is renovating and got this shot of the cellar hole. The boulder is part of the original 1900 stone foundation. It is a granite boulder that was quarried on Barton Mountain in our quarry.

These are some old farm implements that were tossed into the cellar hole. There were treasures and trash under the floor — some of it was over 100 years old.

Ironman’s self-portrait.

Scout (left) and Willow napping on the couch on the sun porch.

To see a naughty photo of Scout that Ironman took, click here. I won’t post the photo on the blog.

Ironman’s 6 year old sister, Catgirl. Ironman is on the right.

diigo it

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