LDO: Notes From a Weekend

Getting out of town is hard for me; I’m disorganized and slow, especially when it’s 90 degrees, so last Friday by the time I finished work, got food and gas, fought traffic and made it to the land, I was pretty hot and cranky. It was my first time to facilitate the meeting and I was aware of my pace being off, of wanting to move onto new items as soon as there was a lull in the discussion, and others saying repeatedly, “Wait, I have something else to say.”

The group had a work party scheduled for Saturday morning; S, K, E and I met at the community sauna at 9 a.m. Saturday’s tasks were digging four holes for the corners of an enclosure for the solar shower, and rebuilding the steps to the sauna. The sauna step project became much more complex than predicted due to the inspiration to build a ramp, which then had to be designed. Materials were not at hand, but S and I scrounged around and found used lumber in various locations–later we were kinda sorry we’d decided to work with such warped and weathered boards, but by one o’clock, when I was all sweaty and drained from the intensity of the sun, we’d cut four boards to length to frame the ramp platform/top step. In that time, K and E completed a stand to hold water jugs and firefighting tools in a central location, and the holes for the shower enclosure were well underway. They were filled with water and left to soak overnight. Of course I broiled the hell out of my head and neck due to my irrational hatred of sunscreen and hats, so I repaired to K’s house, applied aloe, and until dinner I slept harder than I’ve done in a long time.

Sunday’s work party was kick-ass. D came out Saturday after work to help on Sunday morning so there were five of us. The holes were finished, cedar posts were placed in them, and two sides of the shower enclosure were filled in with a baffled pattern of recycled cedar pickets. After much struggling and frustration, the top step/ramp platform was framed, attached, and given legs. And we declared ourselves done–until next weekend. I then had another delicious nap and beat the heat–which was extreme–with K by pouring gallon jugs of cistern water over ourselves and dancing around in the breeze. Ahhhh.

Wildlife tally

  • 7 cottontails running their zigzaggy run away as the truck approached, except for a kitten the size of my fist out behind the compost bin Sunday evening
  • 1 jackrabbit, an amazing critter the size of a small dog, with gorgeous black-tipped ears and impossibly long hind legs
  • 3 lizards, one gray (perhaps a brush lizard?) which ventured under the screen door into the house, and two beautiful collared lizards (Crotaphytus collaris), aka “mountain boomers,” with pink and green stippling on their backs and black bars on their necks, living in the piles of scrap wood around the sauna
  • 1 unseen denizen of the night in K’s house, which might be a mouse, or a pack rat
  • 1 bazillion moths, some of them surprisingly lovely
  • Uncountable hummingbirds, probably six or seven around the feeder
  • 1 pinon jay and several phoebes at the birdbath
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