Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Dump

For the first time since we've moved I had the chance to just sit on my deck in the morning with a mug of hot coffee and simply enjoy life for a bit while watching the sun rise.

I don't think I had stopped moving for well over a month and you know, it felt absolutely, wonderfully delightful. I really should do it more often. I listened to the birds, watched the chickens chase bugs and roll around in the dirt, fluffing their feathers and making dust clouds. As dorky and red-neckish as it sounds, I could spend hours just watching them, they are alternately amusing and relaxing. They aren't the "dumb birds" so many who have never been around them think they are. Each has a personality and a certain level of intelligence. Pepsi is a survivor, and the leader. She is the "mother hen, " the oldest, and is constantly herding the other two around to keep them within her sight. Fuzz Face is loud and often obnoxious, especially when she thinks her pals are ignoring her or one of them unfairly stole a bug from her. Soot is content to just follow the other two around, pecking and scratching the ground when they do, never wandering off by herself. I can't wait until we can add a few more to our tiny flock, exotics in many colors, because I just enjoy watching them. I'm thinking about a couple of peacocks, too. Maybe.

I was also able to take a bit of a hike through our woods yesterday, a section I'd not yet been able to explore because of the hectic pace of life. It's pretty deep, and very, very overgrown with scrub trees, brambles and TONS of poison ivy. I plan to cut some paths through it and plant some "forest gardens," along the paths with benches, ferns, wind chimes, bird feeders, etc. I'm very, very excited about the possibilities.

Unfortunately, it was also used as a dump by the previous owners. As I walked up the dry creek bed (we're on the cusp of a drought), I came upon a gigantic pile of crap. Just crap. My heart sank and I felt like crying. Old rusting stoves, refrigerators, tire rims, sheet metal, fencing, an old hog feeder, enormous chunks of concrete with rebar sticking out of them and a variety of other shit, all piled haphazardly in the woods because someone was too lazy or too cheap to haul it to a real dump. It doesn't belong in my woods and I have a feeling it's going to take YEARS to remove it all. I was very sad about it, and I still am. I will never understand why some people think it's okay to just dump their old used up shit any old place they feel like. I guess they figure out of sight, out of mind, and forget that it is littering of the worst kind. It makes me so angry. I won't be able to look at my woods and see big beautiful trees, the deep orange of trumpeter vines and bright little birds, I'll see another piece of Mother Nature defiled and ruined by humans who just. don't. give. a. shit. It's very frustrating, disheartening and just one more thing on top of the many things that have to be done to make this land my own little piece of paradise..

I've been clearing weeds and brush along the driveway, which is almost 1/2 a mile long. The previous owners let it become extremely overgrown with everything. In fact, it looks like it's not been cut in years. Tough, sweaty, solid work, but it's good work. I discovered the morons who put up the fencing put all the T-posts in BACKWARDS. What does it matter? You may ask. A T-post, is a T-post is a T-post, right? Nope. Electric fence insulators only fit on one side of the T-post, and that side is supposed to face the inside of the pasture, for a variety of reasons. But the big stupidheads put them in backwards. Backwards! What kind of moron does that? This means the whole damn thing is going to have to be pulled up a re-set. I was hoping to just get away with removing every other post (they are too close together for electrobraid fencing) and setting the existing posts deeper. Now I'll have to take every one of them out, turn it around, and pound it back in to the ground. What a fanastic pain in the ass. Idiots.

Oh. I got an award. Well, two awards, for the same story. One from the Illinois Press Association, another from the Associated Press. Yay me! First award, ever. Kind of cool. It's nice to be noticed every now and then, but, for the most part, I prefer to just stay out of the limelight, do my job well and take home a paycheck every two weeks.

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