The sky is heavy, and the air is thick. I do not notice the smoky smell much, except when I first go outside. The hills are misty and half-hidden, and the sun is blood-red. The trees have all of their leaves now, and they speak to me when the wind blows, whispers of leaf brushing leaf. The birches drop their caterpillars of seeds on the porch, where they crunch and crumble underfoot. Spruce tips are an incongruous brilliant green against the darker needles of years past. Cottonwoods have their puffs floating around so much I keep thinking that it is snowing. The spiders rule the outhouse again, but I would rather have them than the mosquitoes. There was a woodpecker in the yard last night, investigating the stumps in the back woods. He interrupted our breakfast a few mornings ago by trying to get bugs from our roof. Our roof being metal, he only succeeded in making a great deal of noise. I am reminded to put out suet, and to try to repair the birdfeeder that the squirrel destroyed last year.
Hanna is here from the Netherlands until the 4th. She is such a wonderful woman... I admire much about her. She is a pastor for her menonite church, and a completely generous, non-violent, interesting, self-sufficient person. I regret that I have to work this week. I may take off Monday to see sights with her, but I feel too much as though we have neglected her.
We went ahead and revised our house plan. It is not that much of an impact. We have wall-lockers now, instead of walk-in closets, but that is not much of a concession. I will not have space for my drafting table and I lose about a foot of desk space, but other than that, my business still fits, and I can manage with that. The drafting table can be stored in the basement. If I get desperate, I can build a little floor space and put in some lighting down there. I suppose it will be nice having the shower so close to the bedroom. We talked about switching the living room and the bedroom further, even temporarily, and decided against it, because we did not want to have to build any interior walls downstairs. Jake also fixed the stairs, because they were not in compliance, either. That ate up some of that drafting table space, too. Now we have something that we can very easily sell, and I think it will be nice to live in. Stupid banks. *grumble* It will cost a little bit more, but it almost evens out with the higher interest we would have been paying to have a non-conforming loan. The plus is that I won't have to haul brushes downstairs to wash them. :)