I have a long list of excuses to explain my 50 day absence from this blog. Among my excuses are the Diplomat's birthday, the dog's birthday (Noodle turned 13 so it was a big event), our twelfth wedding anniversary, three cross-country races, a relay duathlon (which we won), soccer games twice per week and I celebrated my 40th birthday which in addition to bringing about a time of self-reflection I also attended a wonderful 3-day National Georgraphic Photo Workshop in DC (courtesy of my parents) and if that was not enough I had the pleasure of entering my fifth decade with my first case of jock itch which I learned should not be treated with the home-remedy known as "vinegar on the junk" not because vinegar does not cure jock itch but because I will never know since just one dose of vinegar down there and I was squealing like a castrated howler monkey. Cold milk didn't even ease the pain. So, without further babble, I'll direct you to some photos from the Nat Geo Photo Workshop or you can skip that and see a couple of snapshots below from a busy two months and also catch up on what we've been doing in WV lately which has mostly been building stone walls.
The Diplomat's Birthday at the Melting Pot
Noodle had a McDonald's burger for her 13th birthday.
Here I am finishing the first leg of a cross-country duathlon. My partner, Ho Nieh, is there to the left. We won!
In September we started our second stone wall project. Our first stone wall is not yet done but we decided to make a new garden (after the big fail, above) and it required a terrace and a retaining wall. The Diplomat is sitting where the upper garden will be. That's a 16 foot board we used as a form for the concrete base.
First we poured the foundation for the wall directly on bedrock. We had to excavate about 3 feet of dirt to reach bedrock. The Bobcat was essential.
We buttered each rock with an inch or two of concrete and stacked them in place. Some of the rocks weighed about 500 pounds! Bobcat essential.
Nice sunrise view from our camper.
Noodle in the camper reflecting on her first 13 years.
Noodle gets her dinner warmed up when we are camping.
The Diplomat on a cool September evening in WV.
The stink bugs really started coming out the last few weeks. The Diplomat uses the disgusting technique of dropping them in soapy water to kill them. Her theory is based on the fact that the soapy water prevents them from flying and they drown, saving us from crushing the little stinkers and smelling them.