Thursday evening:

I have so much to tell you, dear Reader!  Yesterday was spent mostly in Dixon and today - well - ...  spent looking at my flooded lake.

Let's start with yesterday. I went to the old Dixon Courthouse to get a permit from the zoning department to build JJ's chapel. I think the Dixon Courthouse is so majestic that I had to take a photo of it. Then, before I went to zoning, I stopped by the Tax Assessor's office and talked with Wendy Ryerson about property taxes. I wanted to know how much an outbuilding  - or "shed" as they are calling the chapel - would affect my tax bill. Wendy spent a lot of time with me going over the improvements I may make to the Land. She is such a sweet and proper lady. And lady is just the perfect word to describe her. She took a lot of time with me, even though I know she had zillions of things to do. I so appreciated it!

Then on to the zoning office where the infamous "Mr. Henkel" resides. You might remember Mr. Henkel from the first Pooper letter I shared with you some time ago. I haven't seen Chris for quite a while, so it was good to see him. Dee, his assistant, who is full of vim and vigor and a laugh-a-minute like Chris, helped fill out the application for a permit, and yes I have it now! It is official! I can start to build the chapel!  Chris and Dee's picture is the third photo above. I always enjoy going to visit that office because they are so much fun.

After seeing Ms. Ryerson, Mr. Henkel and Dee, it was off to lunch at the Salamandra restaurant with Alana and Nancy. Alana and I haven't seen Nancy for quite a while, so it was good to catch up. Nancy had some wonderful news! She is in the process of renting a storefront on Rt. 52 in the middle of Dixon for her yoga studio. She's really excited about it. It should open in a few months! Nancy is a gifted yoga teacher, so Dixon is fortunate to have her locate there. The photo above shows Nancy and Alana outside of the soon-to-be yoga studio.

Once I returned home, Dave came over to help. We set the pins again for the 16 x 20 foot chapel. We need to square it up and then we can start digging the holes for the footings. Don't expect quick work on this, dear Reader. All things in their own time.  But we do (slowly) make forward progress. After we reset the pins, we drove over to Casey's Grove Apiary in Esmond run by Steve and Sue - oops! I forgot their last name! They are the cutest couple. Steve, who is a plumber, loves working with his bees. He had many "nucs" set up to hatch queen bees. Just the evening before, Steve had seen a queen actually hatch out of her cell (egg). Steve and Sue showed Dave and me how to put together the frames (that go in the hive body), and the foundation (where the brood and honey are put). We found out  Sue makes the best homemade pickles. If you are interested in some good pickles now or in the future, give Sue a call at 815-494-1403.  You won't be disappointed. The picture above shows Steve torching the hive body I bought from him. The torching helps sanitize the hive body.

You can tell it was a full day yesterday, but a really exciting one. Last night I wanted to write to you in my blog, dear Reader, but I was just too tired. I went to bed early last night, only to be awakened (a lot!) by the thunder and lightning...and the pounding rain.  First thing this morning I took a walk along Willow Creek which was raging and also overflowing into the lake. (Willow Creek is shown in Photos 8 and 9) The smell was terrible. The water was black and frothy. Photo 10 above shows the Road-Between-the-Ponds. The water was half way up my tall boots. I could see the black stenchy water pouring over the Road-Between-the-Ponds. It was entering the lake like an oil slick. (Photos 11 and 12) I could follow exactly how it was flowing into the lake - - in a sort of arc which eventually spread out to the shore near the cottage. Willow Creek flows north on my land and unfortunately, the creek had picked up a lot of feedlot manure, and then dumped it into my lake. Sad to say, but the lake is black and yucky right now. It will be that way for quite some time. Photo 13 shows Willow Creek raging further south of the Lake near Beemerville gate.

But with all the mess and filth, I returned to the cottage and caught sight of the poppies which had just opened. They cheered me up!

Later today it was a perfect day to pull weeds underneath my domestic grapevines at the front of the Land near Beemerville Gate.  I drove my car there instead of walking. The wind was loud but I turned up "Sirius" in my car and listened to the calm, wonderful music as I pulled weeds. The soil was quite wet, allowing the weeds to come out with little effort.

I realize I am really working WITH the weather now. When it's rainy, I do inside chores. When the soil is wet, Ipull weeds and plant veggies and flowers. When the sun is shining I water the plants and mow. Working with the weather makes one much more contented. There is such a pleasant rhythm to working with nature.

My friend, Stig, called today. He is back in Rockford for a short while. I think I might have told you he married a lovely Asian lady after 25 years of being a bachelor (after being divorced). He says he really has taken to marriage.  I told him he was just waiting for the right one!  I've been single for 12 years now, so (based on Stig's example) I guess I have 12-13 years to go before I find the right one. ... I'll be pretty ancient by then!  I hope to see Stig before he goes back to Thailand again. As always, it is good to hear from him.

Well, dear Reader, I think I've caught you up on most of the last two days. They have been filled to the brim! I continually marvel at how fortunate I am to have this lovely paradise and so many wonderful friends and family. I appreciate it so!

Finally let's give a shout out to Nicki and Jeff on their graduation from ASU tomorrow!

Good night, dear Reader. Sleep tight.
 


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