News To Me

It turns out that my father is a pyromaniac.

safe burning

(A very safety-conscious pyromaniac, but still, the guy likes to burn.) I had no idea.

ladder burning

But the evidence is very clear.

burning wood

He spent most of a week in August burning tons of non-salvageable scrap wood, which we had been piling near the front door of the cabin and in various other piles around the cabin.

moving wood

And “tons” might not even be much of an exaggeration. One day he kept track of how many trips up and down the hill he made to move the wood from the original pile down to where he was burning it (at a safe distance from the cabin). He had to stop counting after 50 because he ran out of sticks to add to his counting pile.

buff pyromaniac

The original burn pile is now gone.

But more wood to be burned keeps popping up. Or rather, kept getting thrown out the front window of the cabin by Steve (more on that soon)…

new burn pile

And stacked up by Lars.

new burn pile

Dad, we need you to come back!

Identified

Last week I posted a picture of this plant:

cheerleading plant

and asked if anyone knew what it was. My coworkers came through! Two emailed me to tell me that it is a jack-in-the-pulpit (or arisaema triphyllum) and that I shouldn’t eat it. Don’t worry! I won’t eat berries from the wild unless I’m 1000% sure I know what they are.

I did some reading on them because they are so cool looking. Wikipedia (link) has a decent article, and I also liked the info in the Plants for a Future (link) database. Both of those imply that the root is edible IF you neutralize the oxalic acid by drying it for several months before eating it. The Plants for a Future website also lists several ways the plant was used medicinally by Native Americans. (Note: I’m still not going to eat it!) I am looking forward to watching the plants flower next spring – the flowers are as weird looking (link) as the seed stalks.

Gma and Gpa

Lars’ grandparents came to visit us last weekend, and after they cooed at the baby for a while, we took them over to the land. They told us they were bringing their work clothes, which was enough encouragement for us to let them have at it.

Grandpa Larry took out all the windows from the front wall of the cabin (without breaking any glass!):
window removal by Gpa

And Grandma Doris moved fiberglass from the front lawn into the dumpster:
insulation cleanup by Gma

Many thanks to them!

Very Organized Friends

Our friends Liane and JC came up for a weekend visit a couple of weeks ago. They did a lot of hanging out and watching the baby make faces, but then they also spent a bunch of time at the land. JC removed the satellite dish from the side of the cabin. And because he’s a tiny bit OCD, he organized the removed pieces into the neatest pile you’ve ever seen:

satellite dish

He also carried a bunch of the burn pile down to the fire. Liane took some trips, too:

moving wood

Many, many thanks to both of them!

The First Before and After

Whoa.  This month has been crazy.  So much has happened I’m not even sure where to start.  So I’m just jumping in to a random place on my list.

Back at the beginning of August, Lars and I had to drive down to Springfield for most of the day.  We dropped my visiting parents off at the land and wished them luck.  Here’s what the front lawn looked like as we drove away:

front lawn before

When we came back, it was almost unrecognizable:
front lawn after

Apparently my parents are weed whacking maniacs.  The best part is that they also cleared a path over to the raspberry patch, so I can walk over without having to bring a machete to clear a path with.