meeting Mark's brother
Sunday, October 11 2015
Gretchen's malaise, which had started out as a urinary tract infection, continued yesterday down in the City and her symptoms were worrying enough that our friend Stacy (who, among other things, is a virtuosic abortion doctor) prescribed her a course of antibiotics. She was concerned that the infection had spread to Gretchen's kidneys.
Gretchen didn't have time to walk the dogs this morning, so I took them on a short loop involving the Chamomile Headwaters Trail and a shortcut to the place on the Stick Trail where I've been gathering firewood of late. Today's haul came to only 96.05 pounds, limited by pinching cuts the GreenWorks blade has started making.
Later I gathered a second load of firewood for immediate use indoors. This came to 110.5 pounds, but when I weighed the cardboard that had accumulated in the burnables area, the total was 112.5 pounds.
Back in the house, I found a largish (14 inch) Ring-necked Snake on the floor the kitchen island in the dining room. It was in a plausibly-alive position, but when I touched it, it did not move and felt completely lifeless. It was almost certainly yet another victim of the Celeste the Cat (aka "the Baby"). She has a special knack for finding this particular species of snake, which I rarely see except beneath large rocks that I have just lifted.
This evening after Gretchen returned home, Gretchen was preparing dinner and I was out in the garden gathering some loosely-bunched late-season broccoli when a big white pickup truck pulled into the driveway. It was my buddy Mark, traveling from Massachusetts with his brother and arriving, as always, unannounced. The brother is currently going through something of a bad patch, having recently lost his job, been divorced, and struggling with an addiction to 30 milligram percocets. They'd been in Massachusetts to visit a storage locker containing all the brother's worldly possessions (aside from his pickup and a bucket truck he used as part of his career as a cable stringer). I knew that Gretchen, feeling as she did, would not want to be dealing with these guys. So I had us all go down to the greenhouse downstairs, where we hung out with most of a 12 pack of Rolling Rocks I happened to have, as well as a certain quantity of smokable refreshments. (On top of this, Mark was also dipping snuff, a disgusting habit that tends to make empty beer cans into something of a minefield after he departs.) This visit was mostly so Mark could show me and my whimsically self-constructed world off to his brother, who also likes to build stuff. After three beers, I said I should probably be getting back to Gretchen, who I'd said was not feeling well. As for Mark and his brother, they'd already arranged with Ray to stay at his place tonight. He was even cooking them dinner.
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