This morning after breakfast I hustled over to Lowes to return those porch lights I bought last week. I’m going to try to stop by an electrical supply house sometime this week to maybe pick up some lights that are not outright junk. A friend at work told me a good place, so I’ll try there first.

When I got home I went out and collected the sap bucket. I had about as much sap as I did the first time, meaning I’d be able to make another half cup or so of syrup. I brought it in, filtered it, and boiled it down starting at about 10:30 am. It was done by 12:45. I also took the bucket down, as we are now pretty much at the end of the sap season. I prolly could have collected a little more, but once I boiled that down, I’d have what? another tablespoon or so of syrup? I might be crazy, but there are limits to my insanity!

Once that was done, Va and I headed into Tilton and had lunch together at Applebees. Then we swung by the grocery store, and then headed home. Then in the afternoon, I loaded all the kids in the car and we went to the church to work on the cardboard canoe.

The first thing we did was take my regular canoe out of the cardboard one. The cardboard copy held its shape beautifully. Then we put it back on the saw horses and started gluing drywall tape to it. Not just over the joints, but over the whole thing. No cardboard will show when we’re finished. Jonathan and Warran took the lead on that. There were several more kids there, so I set them to work laminating up the bulkhead which we will place right in the middle of the boat. That will keep the sides from collapsing in on themselves. I had another group of kids start making paddles. But they soon got bored with that, so I used the nuclear option: make helmets. Yes. Viking helmets. They were all pretty stoked about that, and pretty soon they were also making short swords and battle axes. I’m not sure that’s the spirit the conference was trying to foster, but they do all seem pretty excited.

I also figured out how I’m going to decide who gets to paddle the canoe. First, it will be open to the kids who were interested enough to show up on these past two “extra credit” Sundays. That gives me nine or ten kids. At most we could squeeze six in there, and that’s pushing it. Four might be a better choice. I will further winnow them down by merit points. If the boat survives its maiden voyage, and at this point, I’m quite confident that it will, we will field a second crew. And possibly a third.

They should look splendid in their helmets.

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