August 2013

Monthly Archive

Difficult Times

Posted by on 31 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: caring, citizenship, editorial, Making a Difference, musings, politics, Politics and War, Uncategorized

I generally try to avoid politics here.

I feel, however, it is important to express important things.

And right now, I want to express my sorrow at the escalation of wars in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. I am distressed and concerned about the possibility for a very serious and wide-ranging involvement.

What can we do?

What follows is “more of the same” concerning my focus on citizen participation in government and education.

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RADIANT HEAT!!!

Posted by on 27 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: Education Professional, Family Matters, Gardens and Life, good things, house building, school, teaching, Uncategorized

This was today’s “reveal” —

Moving up the driveway:

Murphy, learning who has been visiting "his" yard.

Murphy, learning who has been visiting “his” yard.

(Murphy is Mother’s dog!)
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More progress

Posted by on 24 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: house building, Uncategorized

THIS is what greeted us today when we drove up the driveway. From the bare fill to … (drumroll):

Photo Aug 24, 11 58 25 AM

Tom, next to a stack of insulation like the pink stuff under the wire grids.

Tom, next to a stack of insulation like the pink stuff under the wire grids.

Progress: August 22

Posted by on 23 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: house building, Uncategorized

I have been sick for the last couple of days, but the last time I made it to the house, the waste plumbing has been put in and the fill has been fully compacted. To the side of the house were a bunch of sheets of metal grid and rebar. I have to get out there again soon, but it has to wait until I am well enough to get out.

Here is what I found Thursday morning before I got really sick:

22 August, waiting for concrete.

22 August, waiting for concrete.

More soon…

Today in my garden

Posted by on 13 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: environment, garden, Gardens and Life, good things, Green Living, hope, house building, Uncategorized

A long time since I had a post like this.

The plants on the mound are hanging in there. Among the tall, dry grasses are signs of the secret garden waiting to emerge.

The rosa rugosa on the mound, bright vermillion blooms atop lanky, thorny limbs.

The rosa rugosa on the mound, bright vermillion blooms atop lanky, thorny limbs.

Somewhere in all this, a large fennel and my lovely pink rose that makes its own nosegays.

Somewhere in all this, a large fennel and my lovely pink rose that makes its own nosegays.

And further up the hill, behind my lovely chestnut, cedar and elderberries…

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Taking shape: House construction!

Posted by on 10 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, good things, house building, housefire, Uncategorized

I haven’t made it home in a couple of days. Hoping there is progress beyond the verbal agreements and discussions we had with Jon-the-Plumber and Oivind-the-Overseer (which I will call him just for alliterative purposes, he is a nice man), and Jeremiah… and and and. Here are decisions we have made: recycled glass for the “fill” …

Making a lot of decisions about our kitchen. For example, the countertops for the perimeter will likely be Formica 180fx “Golden Mascarello” and the cabinets will be Waypoint 410 style in natural maple.

All doors and molding will be “Newport Cherry” color — still trying to find a reliable example of it online.

Still trying to finalize wall/ceiling color and floor colors, leaning toward either a light cream or dove gray for the paint, and a light brown/amber for the floors.

Also, working on the master bath: curbless shower needs to know how it will be “dressed:” tile, fiberglass skin, other? Need to decide on how the drain will work, how to get the floor to tilt toward the drain (harder to do with a concrete slab), and the best way to transition from shower space to the rest of the bathroom and then into the master bedroom. I am considering a small transition strip to keep water from the designated “wet” area of tub and shower segregated from the rest of the space. It will be interesting.

Also-also: need to pin down fixtures for the kitchen and bath rooms. Lighting (appointment with Tim at Olympia Lighting on Weds to discuss lighting plan). And… I am sure there are so many things I am not remembering this late in the day.

A bonus, today I bought 19 books. 18 at state surplus (a set of 7 identical at reading level of grade 4 – 5), and one at the hardware store (on tiling, see above discussion of shower decisions).

So, I haven’t made it home in a couple of days, but home is rarely far from my thoughts. I am focusing as much as I can on the design and functional decisions so I can make the fewest number of change orders once work actually starts. After going over the design for the kitchen island yesterday, now I am thinking about one small change I would make… easily altered. Window placements I am not mucking with. Doors, ditto. Bathroom base layouts, still looking good to me.

In the wake of the fire, people kept talking about how great it was that I would get my “dream home.” It won’t be that, but I am now to the point where I believe our new home will be very functional, comfortable, and even pretty. I am worried still about some of the details coming together, but overall I believe we will be just fine.

My plants… I’ll deal with those another time.

Snail-slow the Land

Posted by on 06 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

Snail-slow the Land
changes and moves
man’s tracks
of foot and shoe and vehicle
alongside deer
racoon
fox and
cat

Snail-slow the Land
reaches and grasps
enfolding potential
within the foundations
where once the house
and again the house

Snail-slow the Land
waits and rests
eagles call
flickers in the woods
the black-caps sift through
and time is coming

Snail-slow the Land
will build
will receive
will become
will exist

and soon

the land

will be home

Lessons Learned

Posted by on 03 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: housefire, Uncategorized

Many people have written about things to do after a fire and before.

Here are three things I wish I had done before the fire that would have made things a LOT easier in the first couple of months afterward:

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The poem I wrote (caution: dark)

Posted by on 02 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, housefire, loss, passages, poetry, Uncategorized

Shortly after the house fire, I wrote a poem.

I think it’s time to share it.

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