The Den of Ill Health
However, I think I'll escape pneumonia this time. I'm being VERY careful, we're keeping the house very warm, and I go out as little as possible into the cold air. Most of the time, I'm reading 'Lord of the Rings' (just got to the Entmoot). We're also having a fire in the fireplace every day. It makes the sitting room nice and cozy, and we can sleep in there.
Most years we only have fires on gloomy, snowy days, but I figure it would be just as well to burn up all the wood that's collected on the south side of the house, so the space can be cleared and Dean can stack fresh wood there this summer. Some of that wood has been there for 3 years now. Dean's big hobby is collecting driftwood from the river. Most of it comes from beaver dams - you can tell, because the branches and sticks are all chewed to a point where the beavers cut them down. Sometimes they even chew off all the bark! Anyway, I heard on the Weather Channel that beavers keep chewing down trees for their dams as long as the rivers are flowing. This year, it was very, very mild in December and January, and the rivers hadn't frozen, long after they should have. So the beavers kept working. I'm thinking this may mean that in the spring, when the rivers thaw (they're frozen now) we may get a BIG supply of wood coming down the river for Dean to collect. There wasn't that much last year, but this year might be better.
UPDATE: A friend wrote to say that I should have entitled this post "The Dean of Ill-Health". Indeed I should have! Much cleverer. Ah well, I missed that opportunity, but maybe I'll have another chance later. I'm holding out for "The Dean of Iniquity".