Before I get to the local specialty promised in the title, I bring your attention to photo above. It’s what you see at the driveway entrance to our new home as of today. Our imagined concept of seeing a lovely house peeking out of the woods is becoming a reality. The color looks a bit drab now, but it’s the effect we were after: a large-ish structure that looks like it belongs in its environment. We will add splashes of bright color to bring it to life after we move in.

The siding guy must have a sadistic streak, because he came the other day and finished the entire job except for the shutters on the room above the garage. The box containing the shutters is there, waiting to be used. It means he’ll have to make one more trip all the way out there just to hang two more shutters. We don’t get it. He’s not paid by the hour. Sadistic, like I said. Has to be.

The piles of brush in the front yard are the leafy, twiggy parts of five trees that had to come down to make way for the septic field. If it ever dries out enough, we’ll have bonfires to dispose of them. Outdoor fires are legal here with a permit that is free and downloadable. (All of a sudden we are once again savoring the spicy aroma of burning leaves–an experience I haven’t had since the practice was outlawed in my suburban Virginia neighborhood when I was a teenager.) We dodged rain yesterday to get the trees cut into logs; we ended up with at least another cord of firewood, and we decided it was just too much for us–we already have enough wood to last a couple of lifetimes. We found a young couple on Craigslist who needed it to heat their house, so we let them have it for free.


1/4 acre sandy clay
10 dumptruck loads sand

Before rain begins, dig six trenches, each 6 feet deep by 4 feet wide by 50 feet long, in the quarter-acre. Fill each trench halfway with sand, then place porous PVC pipe on top of sand in each trench and surround with heavy-duty styrofoam popcorn held together in huge mesh bags. Cover pipe and styrofoam with sandy clay originally dug from trenches; keep adding clay to come to top of each trench. Smooth remaining clay over entire surface of the quarter-acre and leave to settle. This is a septic system, but that’s not the point.

Do a rain dance if necessary to summon 3 (three) days of Biblical, torrential downpour.

Invite friends over. Wallow.