Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Country living: small time crook vs. the neighbor

All summer, Aaron and I have been hemming and hawing about buying a very expensive wood burning stove. It would make more sense to wait until next year, when we know our economic situation, but the $600 tax credit for buying a fuel efficient stove probably won't be available then. And $600 off is some serious savings. We bought the stove on sale in the Spring and the order has been on hold. For $100 the company trucks the stove from New Hampshire to any New England location that has a fork-lift available for getting it off the truck. The crate weighs over 500 pounds. Soon after we arrived in May, Aaron found a business nearby that not only agreed to accept the delivery, but also rents trailers so we could get the behemoth home. Hurray! How convenient.

This week, we finally decided to go for it. I called the stove company on Monday, and they said it would arrive this week. We hadn't expected it would be so quick, but no matter. We put in a call to the local drop-off spot and got an answering machine. Tues, no call back, Wed, no call back, but we did get a heads up from the stove company delivery was set for Thursday. Aaron drove over to the drop-off spot yesterday, but found them closed. Despite yet another rather urgent message, still no call back this morning. Uh-oh. A stove arriving from New Hampshire today, and no means to get it off the truck. Yikes.

I called the same neighbor who fixed our hot water pipe to see if he had any suggestions of another business with a fork-lift who might be willing to accept delivery on such short notice. “Well, I have a fork-lift attachment for my tractor.” I was hesitant to take even more of his time, but he insisted it would be no trouble. Not only did he get the stove off the truck, but drove it up our road and helped Aaron get it in the door. (I was upstairs trying to get the boys to nap.) Our neighbor also recommended we don't deal with the MIA business owner. “I thought he was suppose to be in jail by now” for 85 counts of attempted theft by deception. He had a contract to service equipment for a town project and padded the bill with 85 services never actually rendered. Another towns person says he also was selling people's credit card information. Maybe he is in jail by now, that would account for his still not getting back to us.

How do we pay our neighbor back? Aaron is giving him some logs plugged with shiitake mycelium and I have invited the whole family over for pancake brunch, but that doesn't seem quite sufficient.

Here are Aaron and Forest sawing the logs for plugging.

Here are some plugged logs.

The red wax is to keep other mycelium from getting into the log. After being left out in the rain for eight months, when you want some mushrooms, you soak a log or two for 24-hours and they should fruit within a week giving you a shiitake covered log. Lets just hope they actually fruit, unlike the mushroom logs Aaron gave my sister and parents for Christmas one year. Aaron thinks the problem was that they were indoors, not getting wet often enough. We'll see come March.

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