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Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

Nearly every established sex worker I know has had generous clients buy big-ticket items for her, and I don’t mean frivolities like designer handbags and 500 pairs of shoes; I mean substantial items, like a central air conditioning system, furniture, a car, that sort of thing.  In my case, the most outstanding example is my farm at Sunset.  I was able to buy it outright thanks in part to a generous parting allowance from my wasband Matt, and another of my gentlemen bought me the truck Grace and Chekhov used to haul everything we own from Oklahoma to Washington.  Once it was no longer needed, I used the truck itself as barter to pay a hired man who has done a great deal of work for me, from setting up the jacks to level my floor, to digging drainage ditches, to helping me rebuild my chicken yard, to helping Chekhov and I build the guest cottage.  And of course Chekhov himself has been incredibly generous; not only did he buy both guest cottages and all the lumber for the bathhouse project and the bookshelves, he’s also bought me a number of new appliances and tools.  And of course he’s not the only one who’s bought me tools; many of my readers have purchased them for me from my wishlist, and this one in particular has seen very heavy use!  Another of my gents tips me with a Home Depot gift card every time I see him, and those have purchased many more tools and supplies.  These kinds of gifts may not be the stuff of male fantasy like fancy lingerie and expensive jewelry, but they mean far more to me: they are allowing me to create the comfortable home I plan to spend the rest of my life in.  And every time I look at my bookshelves or use my hot tub or just walk on the deck built with gifts from my gents, I cannot help but be reminded of their generosity.

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I have no plans to stop fighting this war until there is no breath left in me.  And truth be told, I’m not even sure I could stop even if I wanted to.  –  “Ninth Anniversary

Ten years is a long time for one human to do anything without a break, much less publish a blog post without missing a single day.  But then, I’ve never been one for taking breaks; I’ve always considered them little more than a delay in whatever it is that I’m doing.  And when that “whatever” is fighting a war for self-ownership and human rights…well, as the epigram says, I’m not sure I could stop even if I wanted to.  Certainly, I’ve slowed down; when I first started this blog a decade ago, I used to publish an all-new essay every day, and the essays were much longer on average.  But as I exorcised at least a little of the righteous fury which fuels my activism, and my other activities expanded to take up more of my time, I was forced to fill an increasing number of daily slots with shorter, easier-to-write posts.  Only two days in the average week now see original essays, and I feature a lot more of what most would consider typical blog posts than in the past.  On the other hand, I’ve written lots of non-blog articles for magazines, books, etc, and I’m about to publish my fifth book; I’ve also got a documentary called The War on Whores and I give dozens of interviews for articles, radio, video, and TV every year, plus more public appearances than I can count.  So even though my blog isn’t growing as quickly as it once did (and, thanks to Google’s censorship, is seen by fewer new readers than in times past), my public presence is still growing.  And given that all of that public presence is dedicated toward fighting for my cause, I would consider that a win.

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Bathhouse 7

We finished most of the construction of Chekhov’s cottage last week; there are a few little things left such as adjusting the front doors so they close properly, wiring up electrical outlets, etc, but all the big stuff is done.  I took this picture on June 30th, and though you can’t tell I was standing on the part of the deck nearest the existing house.  Earlier in the day I crawled around under it to attach the wiring conduit beneath the floorboards, and the day before I ordered a roll of 200 amp-rated copper cable (from an online supplier so I didn’t have to pay the obscenely-high retail price for the stuff) so Grace can run power from the existing breaker box to the new box for the annex.  On Sunday we ran the new main water line, a day after I finished the deck section which is still open in the picture below; look for a picture of that next week!

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Diary #523

At long last, my chickens have started laying again!  As we were working on the bathhouse deck last Wednesday, I heard one of them erupt in an almighty clucking, so I suspected there might be an egg, and I was right!  We’ve averaged one a day since, which is pretty good for pullets; by the end of the month it’ll be more like half a dozen a day.  And just in time, because I was mightily tired of paying grocery store prices for not-very-fresh eggs.  We’ve used the last of the store-bought ones already, so we’re going to try to avoid buying any more now.  In other news, I’m proofreading Ask Maggie, Volume I, and hope to release it by the end of the month; given all the work I’m doing on the house, I’m honestly surprised I’m only a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.  I’d say “knock wood”, but I think I’m doing quite enough of that in the construction process:  sometimes intentionally with a deadblow hammer to persuade a board to go someplace it’s reluctant to go, and sometimes unintentionally with my head.

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Bathhouse 6

On Thursday, June 11th we started the work on Chekhov’s cottage, and the first day was a long one:  eleven hours, with only a short break for dinner.  Though the engineering of the kit is very impressive (the logs fit together perfectly in most cases, and the few which don’t usually only require a few minutes of pounding and/or tweaking), the front wall was not sufficiently stable until the logs above the door were in place, so we were loath to stop until we reached the top of the walls (“we” being mostly me, Chekhov and a hired man who occasionally does hard physical labor for me at Sunset).  This picture was taken from my office window the next afternoon, once we’d built up the gables and installed most of the roof purlins.  On Saturday we put in the floor for the loft so as to have a place to stand on Sunday while installing the tops of the gables and the last three roof purlins, which were simply too awkward to manage from ladders at that height; then on Wednesday the 17th we had another long day (9 hours) building the roof.  Since I’m the lightest I was the one in the safety harness up on top, while Chekhov handed up the boards and, working from a ladder, screwed them to the wall and the lowest purlin while I handled the four higher points of attachment.  It wasn’t nearly as exhausting as the day we built the walls, but by the time I got in the shower a bit after 9 pm I was bruised and sore from the cramped, awkward positions I had to work in all afternoon.  Last week we installed the floor, and earlier this week we shingled the roof; Grace has been busy installing a new breaker box so we can wire it for electricity.  Now we’re working on the wellhouse deck between the back door and the cottage porch; we should be finished that in the next few days. Look for a pic of the completed cottage next week!

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Diary #522

We spent the past week working on Chekhov’s cottage;  yeah, the bathhouse posts are a little behind, because I knew there would be a lot of fiddly bits that wouldn’t really show in photos that well (and they look like they’ll be catching up pretty soon).  Anyhow, last week we did the floors and doors, then over the weekend we shingled the roof; as I said last week, I’m not especially fond of roofing, and I was even less fond of this one than of the metal ones I’ve mostly done in the past, both because it was multiple stages (boards, underlayment, shingles) and because the roof, designed for Baltic winters, is much steeper than what I’m used to.  So while I usually just use the safety harness as a precaution, this time I could barely move around the roof without it.  But we finished yesterday, and my back is mighty glad of it.  This isn’t to say it was a total slog; on Saturday I even took a short break to socialize with a tiny visitor to the construction site.

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Bathhouse 5

I guess it’s kind of a tease to share this picture of the foundation of Chekhov’s cottage with you today when it was taken two weeks ago and only looked like this for a couple of hours.  But I wanted to create a buffer against possible delays in the process, and also chronicle every stage of the process.  The cottage kit came with its own foundation joists, and since it’s a European company those boards were of a metric size; we therefore had to set the beams below those joists at the correct height to be flush and level with the framework around it.  We had the first course of logs laid down that same day, but that’s a picture and tale for next time.  What I will tell you is that by the time this is published we’ll have the cottage basically finished and the next set of posts ready to go in so we can get started on the deck proper.

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Diary #521

Last Wednesday we did the roof of Chekhov’s cottage, which is to say he handed the boards up and I screwed them in place with my trusty cordless Hitachi power drill.  I’m going to need to go up there again this week to do the shingles (and you’ll see those pictures in the Bathhouse column, eventually).  I’m not exactly fond of doing rooves, but since we first moved to Oklahoma I keep getting elected to do them because I’m the smallest and lightest.  So, I’m actually kind of an old hand at it now, and I’ll try to get some good pictures when we do the bathhouse roof.  But the really good news from last week is that I was able to get my hair and nails done Saturday!  My own nails seem to have mostly recovered from the weeks of being unprotected by a layer of acrylic, because they’ve finally stopped hurting and I can use them normally again, without having to worry about breaking them or snagging them in my hair or clothes.  And now that we’re in the most anxiety-inducing part of the summer, I need all the help I can get to keep my nerves in order.

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Bathhouse 4

The first week of this month I was in Seattle, but that Thursday Chekhov called me to let me know that he’d received word the second cottage would be shipped soon.  Since the kit takes about two weeks in transit and we only have room for one at a time in the garage, that necessitated speeding up the timetable a bit.  When I arrived back at Sunset on Friday the 5th, we removed all the temporary horizontal braces and put down plastic sheeting, then on Saturday we shoveled gravel over the entire northern half of the bathhouse foundation (where Chekhov’s cottage needs to go).  Some of y’all may notice that there are two kinds of gravel in this picture; that’s because we had a little left over from a previous project, so we used that first.  Then the next day we started cutting all the posts to the same height in preparation for the joists; next week I’ll share a picture of the completed foundation!

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Regular readers know that as the days grow longer, my brain becomes overstimulated by the excess of daylight, and it becomes increasingly difficult for me to slow down, relax and even sleep.  Well, this year I’m putting it to good use by plowing ahead on the bathhouse project, as you can see in my new regular Friday feature on it.  I’m also working on editing the essays for Ask Maggie, Volume I, and hoping to get it out in July; plus I’m still doing activist stuff, like appearing on Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade University Live tonight.  Tomorrow or Thursday I’m briefly returning to Seattle for my hair & nail appointments on Saturday, then on Sunday I’ll return to Sunset; before much longer I should also resume traveling, when the clients who have inquired about visits get their schedules straight.  It’ll be a while before I can relax again, and I can never do it as effectively as these critters can.  But if I’m going to be hyperactive, at least I’m getting things done!

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