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 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 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.