Tuesday, June 16, 2009

 

We're off early tomorrow morning, flying to Denver. We'll rent a car and drive about two hours due west to Keystone, home of the
Keystone Resort and Conference Center where Fritz is presenting a workshop at a big teachers' conference Thursday morning. When that's done, we'll drive back to Denver, visit family, friends and sight see for two days, flying home on Saturday.


I have a birthday coming up in two weeks. On Saturday Fritz said he’d come across something on the web and wondered if I’d like it as a birthday gift:

You Are Cordially Invited to An 18th Century Evening in Portsmouth

Enjoy an historic performance of George Frederic Handel's acclaimed Water Music, originally performed on a barge on the River Thames for King George I in 1717, recreated aboard the Gundalow on the Piscataqua River by a 14-piece chamber orchestra.

Savor authentic 18th century fare as it is served in Pitt Tavern, built c. 1766, on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum. The delicious dinner will feature hearth biscuits, cranberry glazed oven roasted duck, tourtière, and conclude with scrumptious colonial desserts.


Date: Tuesday, June 30th - no rain date

Time: Concert - 7:00pm at the Gundalow
First Dinner Seating - 5:30pm at Pitt Tavern - Second Dinner Seating - 8:00pm at Pitt Tavern

I loved the idea--above and beyond the fact that duck is one of my favorites, the outdoor concert on the water and the old tavern setting for dinner sound delightfully romantic, so I said yes right away. We went online and made the reservations.

Oh, gundalows are part of the local history, freight barges based on 17th and 18th century Dutch canal boats whose masts were hinged so they could be lowered to allow them to pass under bridges. The New Hampshire gundalows were workhorse vessels of shallow draft, wide of beam, capable of carrying a lot of cargo from the docks of Portsmouth to towns and cities up the Piscataqua River, the Great Bay and the various other rivers that drained into it.

*******

I went to Raymond Building Supply on Saturday for some pressure treated 2x4 and decking planks for a small bridge over a drainage culvert. Each of the pieces of wood had a small tag stapled onto one end that said “Lifetime Guarantee.” That made me wonder, and not for the first time, what or whose lifetime?

Is it my lifetime, the purchaser’s lifetime? But how can that be fixed since if I buy the wood at age 20 I may reasonably be expected to live another 60 years, whereas if I buy it at age 50 my anticipated lifetime half that.

Is it the lifetime of the piece of wood? If it rots, breaks, splits or fails in some way, and you go back to the lumber yard asking for a replacement because you have a lifetime guarantee, what happens if the salesman says, “oh, sorry, it’s twelve years old and the lifetime of this board is ten years”? If so, who determines what the lifetime of a piece of wood is? And if someone has, why isn't it printed on the guarantee label?

Clearly, even with all the work I’m doing on the property, I still have a bit to much time on my hands.

And speaking of the outside work, here are a couple of pictures:


The rertaining wall around the little scoopp-out for the hot tub.


The big retaining wall holding the soil of the back of the excavation for the house. This was taken yesterday--I had it finished today.


This is the fine white sand mound under which our septic tank sits, higher than it should be but by the time the tank went in, the house's shell was complete and windows had been installed. We were told that blasting was necessary to drop the tank into the ledge at the normal height. But we knew what would happen to the windows if they blasted and we said absolutely not.

So, we now have this interesting mound with a flat top, the sides of which I've secured with fieldstone left over from the big piers across the front of the house (our stonemason grossly over estimated how much stone we'd need). There will be some kind of abstract sculpture eventually with the mound as its pedestal--hopefully by next autumn.

*******


The iris were out early in June and have just now finished blooming. Fritz made this arrangement for the kitchen.

Comments:
Iris are on the top of my list along with peonies, roses, and lilac. Wishing you boys happy and safe travels! Stay outta trouble!!
 
Thank you, Arnie! From the internet weather reports, it's too cold up around the 12,000foot mark near Keystone to get into too much trouble.
 
That is a lovely arrangement. You two Never fail to amaze me
 
Hot tub? Woohoo! PARTY!! :-)

Your birthday coming up? Most excellent. I heard the more the better! heh! Enjoy Denver. Enjoy each other!!
 
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