After dinner, I stuffed it full of dried up, thorny rose bush sticks and leaves, a small log, and struck a match....Foom! In no time we had a nice little fire crackling away. They boys had a marvelous time roasting marshmallows, gobbling up chocolate, and endangering themselves and others with roasting sticks turned red-hot pokers. Based on their behavior for the rest of the evening, I think it's safe to say they had a little too much sugar, but just the right amount of fun. The chimenea is great for burning up brush a small handful at a time, and it will take quite a few fires to take care of my pile. That's ok. As much as the boys loved it, Dr. Wife and I liked it too. Right now as I type on the laptop, I'm sitting next to it, warming my feet on the smouldering coals. Now, instead of a big pile of brush, I've got fuel for a winter of smores by the fire.
As far as training goes, I'm feeling a little beat up, but pretty good overall. My left knee has been bothering me since last week. I think I hurt it playing soccer with the kids after running really hard at the 10 for Texas race. It hurt bad enough on Wednesday that I decided to play it safe and take the day off from running. Since then I've been icing it frequently and stretching. By Friday it was feeling much better, not 100%, but better. In spite of my knee, I did another 20-mile long run on Saturday morning, and to my surprise I still had gas in the tank at the end of the run. I even kept going another quarter mile just because I felt good. I've always had some nagging doubts about tackling the marathon distance, but after this weekend's run, I know I can do it. My last mile was even under 9 minutes! I don't know if I'll be able to run a sub-4 hour marathon, but there's no doubt in my mind that I can finish.
Not much to report in the orchard. Boy #1 and I were really busy this afternoon. First we planted a new Republic of Texas orange tree, and ran an irrigation line to it. If I could only plant one citrus tree, it would probably be the Republic of Texas orange. It's cold hard, it grows fast, it's very productive, and the fruit is absolutely delicious. After that, we finished running the second tier of wire along the new grapevine trellis, and ran some 1/2-inch irrigation line along that. Then we transplanted some more strawberries into the strawberry bed, hooked up some more newly grafted citrus trees to the irrigation line along the hosue, and sprayed all the citrus trees with neem oil. A pretty productive weekend, all things considered. All that really remains is to buy and install the t-posts for the blackberries, and to get to work on the kid's new play fort. Oh well, there are only so many hours in a day, and I feel very happy that we've been making the most of them lately.