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th-1We now have an 8-by-8-foot shed nearly filled with firewood. The good news: It’s free heat, from about 20 trees felled on a couple of different properties.

The bad news? We’re not done, because after about seven hours the rented log-splitter broke.

After about six hours of trundling and stacking firewood my arms and shoulders feel very, very surprised. I expect tomorrow’s workday will be very challenging indeed, given that I make my living with my hands as well as my head.

Now I know why people had so many kids way back when: free labor.


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image-1If loving Ray Troll is wrong, I don’t want to be right. The Ketchikan-based artist is best known (up here, anyway) for his fish T-shirts, prints, pins and such. But he’s branched out to sharks, fossils, dinosaurs and evolution, all of it imbued with unmistakeable graphics and some truly atrocious puns.

Three of those mini-masterpieces, in the form of fridge magnets, make up this week’s giveaway.


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Using up the stockpile.

thAfter a particularly aggravating shopping trip back in late March, I suggested that we buy as little as possible for the month of April. We’d live off what was stored in the cupboards, freezer and basement, filling in with vegetables, fruit and dairy as needed.

At the time I meant to report the findings here. That didn’t happen. In fact, I can’t find the envelope with our April receipts. However, I do remember that DF added them up and they came to about $91 – which shows that vegetables, fruit and dairy for two people can be pretty darned expensive up here. (Hint: We’re not buying organic or out-of-season stuff and we use milk for cooking, not for drinking.)

How’s our stockpile looking? Surprisingly unaffected, dammit. 


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thI’m participating in a pair of Twitter events tomorrow. You should, too, because you likely have something to contribute and/or you might learn something.

Did I mention the prizes, including Visa and Amazon gift cards?

Now that I have your attention, let me describe the fun:


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th-1Seems that we finished our vacation just in time, escaping the Lower 48 barely ahead of a serious heat wave. (And I thought it was hot while we were there…!) Sorry for all of you whose feet are sticking to the softened asphalt.

This week’s giveaway won’t make the hot weather go away, but it’ll help you cope: I’m selecting two winners to receive $10 Starbucks gift cards. I’m not a coffee fan myself, but I understand the iced variety is quite cooling.

Coffee isn’t the only option, of course.


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