Monday, November 12, 2012

--------------------- From Timeline of Kings Queens from Charlemagne to Elizabeth II by Gordon Kerr -------------------------- 

1825  Russia: Tsar Alexander I dies of typhus on a journey to southern Russia for his wife's health; rumors persist that he did not die but became a monk and hermit.  When his tomb was opened in 1925, it was found to be empty.

Somebody was thinking of putting up a Where's Alexander? game, but Waldo beat him to it.
1826  Portugal: Joao VI dies.  His son Pedro IV, declared Brazil independent of Portugal with himself as Emperor.  When forced to abdicate, Pedro declares his 7 year old daughter Maria the new Queen.  Pedro's brother Miguel is named Regent on condition that he marry Maria who is, of course, his niece). 

Possibly the only case of legally-mandated incest on record?

1830  France: After the Revolution of 1830, Charles X was forced to abdicate and bypassed his son to name his grandson Henry (aged 9) as heir.  Charles and his son Louis had a huge 20 minute argument before his son would agree to sign his own abdication.  Louis was King Louis XIX for the 20 minutes of the argument (the shortest recorded reign of any monarch anywhere), then Henry was King Henry V for nine days until Louis-Philippe seized the throne as "The Citizen-King."



Early last spring when the sugaring season was ending we were looking at having, once again, to get the enormously heavy, sharp-edged in several places,  and quite clumsy boiler/evaporator unit loaded up onto or into something, and putting it back into the barn.  This was in full knowledge of the fact that in eleven months we would have to get it out again and haul it back up to the Center where the big wood stack is and where, more importantly, the sugar maples are.

Whatever charm this yearly ritual may ever have had (the lifting and hauling, not the sugaring itself which we love), had long since evaporated like the forty or so gallons of water you have to boil off from the sap to get one gallon of maple syrup.  So I put forth the idea of building a small sugar shed on the concrete patio outside the Center and leaving the boiler in place permanently, wrapped securely against rain and snow when not in use.  The shed would be a good-looking addition to the property, one that let groups that rent the facility know in all seasons that we're syrup boilers, an activity in which they're always very interested.

As it happens, one of Fritz's nephews has been in residence in the big original house for the last year.  A skilled woodworker (boat builder and violin repair specialist) his construction skills are impressive -- it wasn't long before he and I were collaborating on a design, exact placement and other details of the project.  Drafting tables were cleared and drawings made.  Construction began about three weeks ago and ended last week when red metal roof panels were fastened in place. 

And here it is, set up as a gazebo until repairs are made to the boiler and it's set underneath its new roof.  There will be an enclosure of concrete block around the sides and back of the boiler and there may or may not be some lattice applied to the sides of the shed.

View from the side, the wood stack specifically for sugaring is in the background. 


I love the new sugar shed/gazebo! And I'm so grateful for the bible lessons.

Also, especially fascinating bit about Tsar Alexander I.
Mr. Lot was quite a character.
The "shack" looks great! Can't wait to see it with the boiler installed.
Fear not, Walt, there will be photographic evidence.
"A man who lays with another man should be stoned" bit makes me chuckle. Or giggle. Maybe I have the giggles now. And the munchies. ;-)
Fortunately, that hasn't been enforced or most of us would be under very large piles of rocks.
And don't forget all prawneaters would have been abominated to death by now too. You know the great scene in The West Wing where President Bartlett demolishes the woman who loves her Leviticus?
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