Cool weather, no wind, a good day for burning the big slash pile down near the double row of peonies near Anna Spring. I threw a propane torch, gel starters, and a rake into the ATV trailer and drove up the gravel road past the barn, and down to the spring. A few old pine needles, small twigs, and a gel pack, and up it went, slowly, tentatively, but it caught. When I was sure the pile would keep going without my close attention, I drove the trailer over to a smaller pile, in a wetter spot, that just wouldn't burn. So I disassembled it until there was just a large lump of old dirt and ashes and hauled the wood over to the burning pile. Maneuvering stray branches tot he middle of the pile, I let it burn down to embers. Another two burn piles cleared up; two to go.
I finished just in time for Karen and me to to see our building contractor. Time to finalize the design, finalize the color selection, and fork over 40 percent of the construction cost. After all, excavation of the foundation, electrical trench and septic system is set for Thursday and Friday. The building permit's been approved by the country, so the foundation will be ready to pour soon thereafter. Looking at the construction Gantt chart, we should be in the house by September. I felt a bit odd coming back down from the burn pile, but had a Glucerna bar and folded myself into the driver seat for the drive to Rathdrum. On Idaho Rd., I pulled into the left lane to avoid a jogger coming at us, when a pug ran into the road. I slammed on my brakes, but still hit the dog, which got up and ran off. As I recovered from the shock, Karen went to the house where the pug had run from, and the owners jogged down the road after the dog. We went on, and I started feeling poorly. Damn, it was nearly a year since the last time I was in the hospital, but after trying to shake a headache and a 92-degree temperature, Karen bundled me into the passenger seat and we drove off toward Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d'Alene, stopping four times for me to hurl. Into the emergency room and an IV with sodium chloride. After a couple of hours I was fine, came home, and took a long nap. Chicken soup for supper, and an early bed.
Late at night, waking for a call to nature, I got up and felt a soft lump under my right armpit. It was a wood tick. Since I'd showered before bed, I'm going to attribute it to one of the four cats sleeping with us on the bed. I covered it in a paper tissue shroud and gave it a burial at sea from the deck of the great ship American Standard. Back to bed and a 7 a.m. wake-up for me, a lot later than usual.
Feeling great this morning, so after lunch, it's back up to the hills, burning the penultimate slash pile near the bridge I'd built last summer.