#23 of 101 Things “Southern Cross”

The Southern Cross constellation can always be seen from the southern hemisphere but never from where I live in Maryland (39 degree latitude). It can only be seen at all from below the 25 degree latitude.

The Southern Cross.

San Juan, Puerto Rico is about 18.5 N latitude so the Cross (Crux) is visible just above the southern horizon in the middle of the night (around 3:45 a.m.)

Our calle in Viejo San Juan.

In San Juan Charlie and I happened to be staying on Calle de la Cruz (Street of the Cross) which runs north and south.  So at 3:30 on Thursday morning we got up and dressed and headed down the street to the harbor.  Unfortunately the sky was covered with clouds so we could not see a star or planet.

The first night was overcast and not one star was visible.

Not very hopeful we tried again the next morning which was still cloudy but intermittently so. We walked to an overlook near the harbor which is polluted with light: unfortunate for stargazing but great for safety.

Crux is low in the southern sky around 3:45 a.m.

It was a windy morning so the clouds kept moving,  I knew Crux would not be high in the sky but would be positioned almost due south above the horizon.  I also knew Alpha and Beta Centauri point to Crux and that the topmost start is red.

Jupiter is the small dot above the ship on the left hand side of the photo.

Just to be sure I used a compass app on my phone to check that I was facing south.  One more pointer was the early morning rising of Jupiter in the south-southeast sky.  I see Jupiter every morning at home so I am familiar with its positioning which also points to Crux in line which the Centauris.

Although not visible with my camera, we saw Crux in the cross-shaped clearing above San Juan harbor.

We both spotted the Southern Cross from San Juan at a break in the clouds.  It didn’t last long but we waited for a time until we could see it yet again, just to confirm.

We were delighted to see the Southern Cross for the first time.

I am so excited to check another item off my list of 101 tasks in 1001 days.

My inspiration to see the Southern Cross.

Do you do crazy stuff?

Patience and Craigslist

We had 2 giant oak trees fall in the back yard during Hurricane Irene in August of 2011.  Charlie cut and split a lot of that wood which we’re using and selling.

We've sold and used ourselves most of this wood..
We’ve sold and used ourselves most of this wood..

Some of the wood near the base of the trees was so large it wouldn’t fit on our log splitter.

This log is waaay bigger than it looks, it's almost a yard in diameter.
This log is waaay bigger than it looks, it’s almost a yard in diameter.

So I listed these rounds on Craigslist about 6 months ago.  The copy read: “They range from 28″ to 36″ in diameter and are 14-16 inches long.

If you take the whole lot (almost a half cord of wood) you can have it for $50. Naturally you’ll be doing the splitting.

Otherwise $10 per log seems about right.

They are extremely heavy and large (see picture) so you’ll probably need a truck or trailer to fetch them. ”

Charlie rolled each section out of the way after he cut it through.
Charlie rolled each section out of the way after he cut it through.

And finally someone called who with Charlie’s help took the whole lot and then some for the price of $50.

The wood in the large yellow circle was in the deal, the smaller circle wood was a bonus.
The wood in the large yellow circle was in the deal, the smaller circle wood was a bonus.

Our customer came well-prepared with a truck, trailer and chain saw.

This trailer can potentially hold a lot of wood, we estimate about a ton.
This trailer can potentially hold a lot of wood, we estimate about a ton.

Charlie and the Craigslister worked for a couple of hours to load this wood.

The first piece was difficult and the chore did NOT get easier.
The first piece was difficult and the chore did NOT get easier.

They took a few breaks and got on well together.

Charlie makes friends easily.
Charlie makes friends easily.

We figure he got close to a cord of seasoned oak wood.

Wow, that's a lot of wood.
Wow, that’s a lot of wood.

And we’re delighted to have the yard cleared up before spring.

It had begun to snow by the time all the wood was loaded.
It had begun to snow by the time all the wood was loaded.

The moral of this story is not to give up if you post something on Craigslist.

Here's the yard before the Craigslist purchase.
Here’s the yard before the Craigslist purchase.

The right person has to see it. And want it. And make time to get it.

Still more to do but a nice clearing has been made.
Still more to do but a nice clearing has been made.

I’m pretty sure you could sell almost anything.

Have you bought or sold any strange items on Craigslist?

Yo, Yo, Heave Ho

We’ve been trying to sell our sailboat, Tyche, for a few years now.  She has been tucked in the back of the yard.

The boat was nestled in the weeds behind The Cottage.

Recently we’ve had some interested buyers so I decided she should be moved from her berth under the trees to a more open spot.

There’s space behind the big upended oak root left by Hurricane Irene.

At first Charlie hooked her up to the lawnmower but the tires just spun. Then with his helpful little tire pumping contraption he pumped both the tires on the trailer that carries Tyche.

Tire pump plugs into car cigarette lighter and pumps up low tires.

With the tires fully pumped and the mower hooked up to the trailer, little by little Tyche sailed across the yard.

A ride-on lawnmower is a handy machine.

She is now settled into the free space behind the big root where the Hurricane Irene trees fell.

Out in the open but behind the big root.

We figure there’s less chance of peripheral damage from falling branches and an easier exit when someone does decide that they must have her.

The look says: “Are you still following me?”

Now we can get the back of the yard cleared up before winter sets in.  The ground is covered with zillions of acorns that have begun to sprout.

Have you used your mower for things other than mowing the grass? Like what?

Wood Splitting

Charlie’s friend had given him a wood splitter which he had taken to another friend’s house whose trees had fallen last year.

The log splitter doesn't look like much until it's put to work.

 Well, we needed it back so our friend with the flatbed trailer and Charlie drove out to pick it up haul it back to The Glade.

This wood needs to be split! And there's more where that came from.

 While the men were out with the means to haul equipment (sorry, no photos it was dark and I was in my P-whammies*) they made a short side-trip to pick up this cutie.

Inside shot of the yard cart next to the lawn mower which will pull it.

  We had seen this small cart on Craigslist for $50 to go behind the ride-on lawnmower which Charlie assures me will be very useful for cleaning up the wood from the two fallen oaks and lots of other projects in the yard. I will admit when I see neighbors chugging through the neighborhood on their little tractors pulling their loads in a little cart,  I want one, too.

Can't wait to ride this red cart around the neighborhood.

 The final cost of the little metal cart was $40 and now it’s ours.  How great would it look decorated with crepe paper streamers in the 4th of July parade next year? Let me get my spray paint out.  NO! I’m joking!!!!!! Really.


Going, going, GONE!

Today we have a larger yard because we sold the trailer. It was a 2000 Pace 6 by 10 foot enclosed trailer with a spare tire.



I cleared out some of the clutter here.  And Charlie finished.

The fellow that bought it paid me a little more than I had paid a few years ago.  I posted it Saturday and it sold Sunday. The first man who left his number (and gave us the impetus to clean the thing out) never came up with the money so after waiting a couple weeks for him to call back we sold it to someone else.

I had been waiting to sell the trailer so I could move my mother’s things from Florida but we actually rented a truck for that purpose since we no longer had a vehicle that could pull the trailer.

Selling the trailer is just one more thing on my infinite list o’ things to do that I can check off.  Yeah.

Have Trailer, Will Store

A few years ago I bought a trailer to store our music equipment in: keyboards, speakers, cords, cables, mics, stands, booms, etc.  Since we have downsized the amount of equipment we carry and since we don’t actually have a vehicle that will pull a 6 foot by 10 foot trailer, it’s time for it to go.


My plan was to

  • have a yard sale,
  • then empty the trailer,
  • powerwash the trailer,
  • put the trailer on Craigslist and
  • wait for a phone call.

 But, last Sunday when we came home from church, there was a business card on our back door with a number suggesting if we were selling the trailer this person would be interested in buying it.

So I have spent the afternoon clearing out the trailer which had become a catchall for things we want to keep but just haven’t found a place for yet.

 This is my progress so far.

With half the trailer empty I am leaving the rest for Charlie to move out since the remainder of the boxes are either large or heavy or both. This is Charlie’s progress.

Trailer – Almost empty

 We’ll bring you up to date if this transaction does happen in the near future.  For the time being it is great just to get the trailer cleaned out.