Thanks to sonia for pointing out that http://riskliteracy.org/ has a math test that is adaptive. By judging your response to each question, it selects the next question as a harder or easier one to more quickly score your response.
Carpenter dude coming today. Hoping for progress. Christine and i looked at the VERY rough cut more or less 8" wide cedar boards and identified the most aesthetic roughness bits for our balusters. Christine is very taken with the "eyes" or knots that mark where the branches were, and so we'll leave some at their full 8" width. This is going to be very rustic and i hope very charming. The 2x4 have significant heart wood and are just now quite red.
Discovered that redbuds are about to bloom when a dead tree fell and ripped a huge branch off an old redbud. I'll trim those for vases today and get rid of the winter arrangements. Where "Get rid of" means i want to find some place to stash the rye and sorghum seed heads that are so lovely still. Not the garage: the mice will eat them.
Speaking of mice, Marlowe launched herself off the porch railing to the ground to try and catch something -- i believe a rodent, given her poking around when she came up prey-less.
Significant frost this morning. I hope the saucer magnolia was sheltered enough. I decided that since i am supposed to not let the blueberries bear fruit yet i'd let the frost do what it will. The curly kale in the garden is bolting, making me rather grumpy.
Weekend was glorious weather, perfect for working outside. And so i did. I'm sore and very achy, but very pleased as all the chipping is caught up, a decent amount of chips are applied to the new gardening spot, and the woods on the east side of the yard is all cleared up. I dream of chinquapins -- Castanea pumila, a dwarf chestnut -- and Chicasaw plums getting a good afternoon sun there. A few cedars and a holly will also get some sun and grow to help screen whatever future use is made of the current 60 acre woodslot. Plenty of clearing still to do, but i think it will all be shaded. At the back of our lot i realize that there are some open woods: it's not all thicket with a battle through huge grape vines and autumn olive. I can imagine planting the American crab apples (i am trying to get started from seed) under the huge maples. First, to get a path through the thickets. Generally, once the leaves come out i have avoided the woods. Maybe this year i'll start venturing.
VERY VERY VERY excited about the carpenter's work. The posts are in place, and the raw cedar delights me. I realize Carolina wrens will now visit and pull shreds of bark off to take off for their nests. I think his tools may have dropped oil on the sandstone so i will need to clean those spots -- hopefully before Christine notices.
Carrie developed a limp on Friday evening. She's been getting better all weekend. She whimpered a little Friday night, but has generally been problem solving and doing what she wants while favoring the leg. She avoids letting us put her harness on to help her up and down the porch stairs. I do wish we had a 24/7 vet near by. We were spoiled by that in California. Christine did call and get an appointment (the kennel service at the vet is open for the weekend so there's someone to call).
I had good phone chats with my dad and sister, took mom for a virtual walk around the yard. Violets burst forth by Sunday. The saucer magnolia is spectacular and will get more glorious.