It has been a bit of a struggle, but it appears I have finally managed to move my domains over to my new host. I know it because when I ask the tech support folks for help, I actually get some help. People answer the phones at this place. They respond to support tickets. When they have an unresolved issue pending, they email to make sure everything is going well. Geez. I think I’m grateful for such awful service for so many years, because when it finally turns itself around, it really seems nice. May it last.

Today is Friday, and I pulled all my taps on Monday. I have all this year’s syrup bottled, and got 12 gallons and one quart. This is the best year I’ve ever had, and I worked my butt off on it. I’ve slowly been cleaning things and putting them away for next year. There is a lot left to do, but I’m allowing myself to enjoy the lull somewhat.

boiling.jpgThis picture was taken when I was near the end of the boiling phase of the maple syrup project. I thought it was neat because the rising sun was shining through the steam coming off the evaporator pan. On the left of the foreground is the plastic barrel I use for bulk storage of the sap I collect. The bucket on top of the barrel us sitting upside down right now. It has a floor flange attached with a 1″ pipe nipple threaded onto it. When I’m gathering, I put this contraption upright on the top of the barrel with the nipple protruding through the open bung. That way I can quickly empty my gathering buckets when I come in with sap.

franco.jpgFranco comes out to the operation with me each day equipped with a stick. We have worn several sticks out this year. I keep a bow saw inside the building, and we frequently walk out to a brush pile and fashion a new stick after the current one gets lost up in a tree, or just wears out. Franco seems to harbor no mushy attachments to his sticks. He’ll watch me creating a new one with his current stick in his mouth, and as soon as I have it ready and make as though to throw it, he simply lets his jaw drop and the stick falls out. He’ll eagerly chase the new one and the old one just lays where he dropped it.

hiding.jpgSometimes I’ll be busy with something and kind of forget Franco is out there with me. I’ll look outside and feel he is out there, but don’t see him. He blends in very well with the dead leaves. When I finally spot him I see he is watching me and wondering in his doggy brain how any such creature gets by is life whose senses are so terrible. I’ll often be unable to find him out there even after looking for a while, so I’ll call him, and he often pops up a short distance away from me.

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