Tuesday, July 24, 2012


On Saturday and Sunday nights Olga and I spent time in Cambria which is just south of Hearst Castle and approximately in the center of California. We had a delightful couple of days, enjoying pleasant weather, great food and some interesting interactions with locals. We purchased a rocking chair made by the Shakers in Pa. which is now resting comfortably in the back seat. I found a few knicknacks for the outdoor arbor @ Bell Springs and generally speaking we just had a relaxing time. We then headed south to Santa Monica where we will spend two nights. Today we will go out to the JP Getty Museum for the day. We hear there are some wonderful pieces in the permanent collection, and we hope to take that in as we stroll through the day. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I had the good fortune to attend Myra's graduation from Leslie University in Cambridge on May 19, 2012. It was a beautiful warm day and the graduation took place right along side Boston Harbor. There were about 2200 hundred graduates! Clearly this is a quite well utilized institution of higher learning. Because Olga was with Maggie and Roman, I found myself @ the graduation by myself. I was so happy for Myra knowing just how hard she has worked over the past couple of years to complete her Master's in education. The night before the graduation we celebrated the event by going out for dinner in Davis Square at a restaurant named the "Elephant Walk". There were many vegetarian and vegan options. Myra's cousin Elizebeth and her intended Michael joined us along with her two current room mates Jillian and Saddie, and a former room mate and good friend Orinda. We had a great time toasting Myra and recounting her accomplishments. The next day we set out for Burlington Vermont, about a five hour drive from Boston. WE spent a couple of days exploring the unique college town, and trying fun restaurants that Myra found on line. We had a great time and as we returned to Boston our thoughts traveled to the future and the question about whether Myra will be able to find employment as a teacher in this history rich Boston area? My guess is that when prospective schools see Myra's background and begin to catch a glimpse of the dedicated and skilled teacher she is along with her loving and energetic disposition, she will be selected by some area that values the kind of human being that Myra is. All I can say is that it has been a great year!


So little Roman Charles has been a part of our lives since May 15th, 2012. He comes into this world blessed with good health and a great family. He has a mother who loves and cares for him and a dad that enjoys and appreciates his son's presence. As Roman is our first grandchild of course we fully expect to spoil him crazy. More than anything it is just simply fun to have new life energy around the home. Who knows what destiny this little guy has in store in his future? I hope he is able to live a rich and full life, and that he makes a contribution whereby the world is a better place because of his coming.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another picture of the garage

I have been working on this project for nearly three years. There is nothing speedy about it, but, on the other hand, the time has allowed for careful planning and the gathering of resources to make it happen. I will say right out front that my brother Matt who is also our land partner was key to manifesting this new building. He helped with the design and was the lead builder. He organized the crew of very talented carpenters and together they put their expertise together and made the building materialize from a pile of supplies that arrived from the building materials yard. Of course no one can predict the future, but it is my hunch that this building will outlast any other structure on the property, such is the quality of the materials and craftsmanship. I have until next April to finish the details and get it signed off by the county and the Cal Fire crew. There should be no trouble in meeting this timeline.

The New Garage!

Well it has been a long time coming, but here is a post about the new garage. The picture shows an "almost" finished project. Still a few details as well as the painting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Family Together!

OK, the big day is over, but boy did we have fun! The baby shower, which the boys did not attend, went well, so I am told. It was held @ the Masonic Hall, and there were many women/girls present. The food was eaten, and the sisterly support and love was passed on to the mother to be. I stayed home and made the food for dinner; a Mexican Fiesta. It was nice to have the two newly married couples present as part of the family. We all posed for the picture above, and our hope is that come May, there will be one more member to join the circle on the outside of mother's tummy. The last day of March also saw the last day of the rain storm with ultimately dropped 7 and 1/4 inches of rain in our backyard. Ok, now it is onward with life. Myra and I leave for the SFO Airport by 4:00 PM today and then in the morning it is on to Weaverville. Blessings!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Girls!

Here they are; all three in one place at one time. This week is special because Saturday Myra, who is home from Boston, will be organizing a baby shower for Maggie who is expecting a boy in May. We are also celebrating Olga's Birthday Saturday evening. Should be a very fun event, and surely a special day for all of us. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Graft of an "Elephant Heart"

Ok here is what happened. I planted a Haricot Apricot two years ago. As is often the case, it was on the hardier rootstock of the Mariana Plum. Never had much luck with apricots, but I love them so much, and I had never tried this variety, thought I'd give it a go. Well, you guessed it. Died the first year. Not the rootstock though; that sent out new thick calibered growth. The next year out, I pruned back all but one trunk and let her grow. This February I took a scion from an Elephant Heart Plum and grafted it onto the Mariana Plum, and so far it is blooming out. In the picture, the old trunk with the label is just the dead wood from the Haricot; now using it as a support to keep the new Elephant Heart happy and growing to the Sun. Who knows, we may have plum pie down the road?!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Magic Theater"

"For Madmen Only" entones the German Author, Herman Hesse.......He invited his reader to enter into the realm of fantasy and the unconscious, so that we might explore aspects of ourselves and the universe. Many archetypes that have endured over the ages are alive and active in this domain, and these forces readily communicate with the person who is open and receptive to their inspirations. Socrates encouraged his followers to "Know Thyself". His claim was that we cannot know the divine if we don't first find this Source within ourselves. How do we enter into this gate? How do we enter into the Magic Theater? The answer is simple. Just close your physical eyes and look into the center between your eyes and stare into the darkness. Withdraw your attention from your body and the outside world. Herein lies your own imagination and the magic carpet to your dreams, to other worlds and to the eternal. Happy traveling!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Time passes by.......

They say, "In the blink of an eye".....the days, weeks, months and years pass by. We see the changes all around us. However, one must ask, "do we see the changes?". Parmenides, who was a senior to Plato by about 25 years, and who influenced Plato dramatically, thought deeply about change. Wikipedia says, "Parmenides claimed that the truth cannot be known through sensory perception. Only Logos will result in the understanding of the truth of the world. This is because the perception of things or appearances (the doxa) is deceptive. Genesis-and-destruction, as Parmenides emphasizes, is illusory, because the underlying material of which a thing is made will still exist after its destruction. What exists must always exist. And we arrive at the knowledge of this underlying, static, and eternal reality (aletheia) through reasoning, not through sense-perception." Now this heavy, I dare say. That which existed always exists? Nothing is disolved, for that which "is" cannot become "nothing".

This concept can be contrasted with the work of Heraclitus, who preceded Parmenides. Wikipedia says about him, "Heraclitus is famous for his insistence on ever-present change in the universe, as stated in his famous saying, "No man ever steps in the same river twice" He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that "the path up and down are one and the same", all existing entities being characterized by pairs of contrary properties. His cryptic utterance that "all entities come to be in accordance with this Logos" (literally, "word", "reason", or "account") has been the subject of numerous interpretations.

All of this is to report that life appears to be changing on the hill. The cedar trees posted above were dug with a kitchen teaspoon from the earth beneath a large cedar tree in Willits in 1985 and placed into 8 ounce paper cups, and later transplanted into the ground above the fruit tree orchard where you see then growing now. These were hand watered, and later put on a drip system and they have survived over these past 25 years. There were many more, but these lived. I myself am not the same person as the one who planted these trees. So, over time, I need to give consideration to the ideas of both Heraclitus and Paramenides. They both may be right, but, I have to give this more reflection. Until then, we will watch the trees continue to grow and become the thermometer for the passage of the years. We shall come to our conclusions as we do.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Ring Appears at Last!

Here is the story. The short version anyway, as it unfolded over several months, and it would take a few pages to share all the gritty details. Before Christmas, one morning, around December 13th, I took my wedding ring off because it was tight on my ring finger. I actually had a tough time getting it off, and there was a groove indented into my skin where the ring sat. In fact, even today the "skin ring" is still there. Anyway, not knowing what to do with the ring, I put it on my pinky because it seemed to fit so well. Interesting thing is, by noon that same day, when I looked at my pinky, the ring was gone! I counseled myself, now don't panic.......you didn't even go anywhere! It has to be in the house, on the walkway, or in the car. End of story. Well, I have been looking in those places for weeks upon weeks, and so far, no ring. I began contemplating buying a new ring. Mind you, my old ring was just a simple 14 Karat band, that the jeweler would call a "comfort" ring, size 9 & 1/2. It basically means that the ring was more than just a flat band; it actually had a little gold in it and so wasn't just a facade. You know what it would cost to replace the ring I lost? About $1,000. due to the sharp increase in gold over the past three years. Needless to say, once we found that out, buying a new ring was on hold. In the past week, a notion has been brewing in my mind that maybe the ring is in the trap of the bathtub. I washed my hair that day, and perhaps with the suds helping, the dang thing just slipped off. At first I rejected this idea because I figured I'd hear it. But you know, being deaf on the right side, my hearing is not what it used to be. More than once I thought I might want to check the trap. Problem is, I've been under the house before when the drain was flowing slow, and there is no way to unscrew the trap. It is glued in place. Shortcut plumber I'd say. I doubt it is an industry standard to glue everything together and then call it "good". I had an urge to just go down there an cut the ABS pipe and install a real trap that screws in and out. But, it was raining today, and I was so comfortable in the house, getting little things done, I let it go. However, tonight, while sitting in the tub, I wondered if I could unscrew the drain plug and just "take a look" down the hole. After the water was gone, I unscrewed the metal drain plug, and the first thing I saw was the ring! There it was, standing up and lodged between two of the four metal protectors that keep large objects (like rings) from going down the drain. I was surprised and amazed that it would be so easy. While I was there I pulled out the wads of hair that exist in virtually every bathtub in the world. I put the ring on, showed Olga who was thrilled, and I realized, "I am still married" afterall. Thanks for listening to this unusual story. The ring appeared at last!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life's Beauty!

What else do we really have If not this very moment? Human beings, separate from animals, have the ability to direct our attention to whatever we want. We can focus and then with our full thinking faculty, contemplate some chosen task. We can visualize the completion of that task on the ideal plane and then instruct our body to do what is necessary so that we can conjure up that same object on the physical plane. This is very powerful stuff! Plato believed that in the ideal world, that is the plane above the physical world, that this is where we first accomplish all of our actions. People who sit and “contemplate” the Universe are actually working. At least they are working out how they want things to be arranged in their own world. In fact, it is my experience in life that the more we deal with our plans in the ideal world, the more likely it will be that they will successfully manifest physically. We have to get specific, detailed, and solid in our thinking in order to transition from the ideal to the material world. So back to this moment in time, this is why it is so useful to be fully present in the moment. When we have our full momentum engaged in this consciousness manner, all completely in the now, we will have our potential directed to what ever it is we chose to concentrate upon. So, with that in mind, go forth and create!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tucked Away

In fall of 1979, my brother Thomas and I set up some batter boards and laid out the space that was to become our cabin. We used cement in the pier holes and brick as a build up from the ground with a solid piece of redwood planted on the top so the girders could be nailed to the piers. That is about as far as we got, as the weather turned wet and cold. Not bad for two people who had never built a cabin before. The following summer, with a far more robust crew, the cabin went up and by summer's end it was water tight, more or less. For many years thereafter, we kept adding little rooms onto the original structure. Although it has a Winchester Mystery House appearance from the distance, it is actually just a cabin in the woods........

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Accepting the Will

We all imagine the best for our future and we fashion images that are consistent with our desires. There is nothing wrong with taking charge of our life, and like an action hero figure, forging ahead to make things happen. But, the inverse side of the coin is a consideration as well. We must accept what the universe has deigned to give us, and be happy for the gift. There is only so much we can do to force our lives in a certain direction. At some point we have to surrender to the breeze and let the natural forces take us where they may. Accept the Will of the Universe and be content with our destination. The true peace and happiness is found in the journey, no matter where we are pulled. So says Lilly!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Unusual December

Last December could just as well have been April or May.........no rain, with sunny days and unseasonably warm days around 65-70 degrees. It made for being outside very wonderful, but, at the same time, where is our water? The photo attached shows the view out to the south west and the pond can be seen as well as a couple of outbuildings near the cabin. I am beginning the long process of pruning fruit trees and just generally cleaning things out to begin a new season. No new projects on the horizon, just finishing stuff and getting organized. If this coming year pans out as I hope, we will be building the next phase of the barn. The weather person says rain is on the way, so we will keep our fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Water Tank Rehabilitation

This old ferro cement tank was built back in spring of 1980. The primary builders were my brothers Matt and Tom. They had never actually built one by themselves before, however, they had helped a neighbor to build one a few months earlier. My brothers were not afraid of failure. They needed water storage, and this was in an era before the easily had plastic tanks were on the market, so they just launched this project. All in all, considering this was the first one of four to be built in our neck of the woods, it has done remarkably well. The biggest mistake, was deciding to build the cement lid right onto the tank. For many practical reasons, this was a natural decision, and one for which no one could predict the natural consequences. Because of the intense exposure to the sun, the cement would absorb the heat of the rays, and unfortunately begin to expand. Since the lid was solidly connected to the sides by multiple rods of 1/2 inch steel, as the roof expanded so did the walls causing cracking and water leakage across the entire tank. In the evolution of tank building, it was found that building the tanks with a redwood roof that was added after the fact proved to be a far superior design. This past summer, the original contractor, Matt, had a chance to redefine this tank in a new and modern manner. With great time and effort, the cement roof was cut away, and the walls were allowed to free stand. Foundation wire was wrapped around the entire tank, and then galvanized 1/2 inch wire was fastened to the foundation wire to make a very strong barricade. My brother Mark assumed the time consuming task of wiring the galvanized 1/2 inch wire to the foundation wire, and this took many hours of listening to Van Morrison with a pliers in hand. But accomplished it was, and then the real party began. A crew of six showed up one Saturday morning, and the tank was re plastered with two coats. This took the bulk of the day, and lots of sweat. After the cure, Matt applied a coat of Thoroseal to the outside, and then the water began flowing. As you can see from the picture, it holds over 9,000 gallons of water rather successfully. Maybe a roof will follow down the road. But for now, we all are happy that our efforts were successful.