Please forgive, dear reader, what will be a fanciful tale with many competing themes.

As a young adult I’d jot down little fragments of muse, one in particular that’ would come back to me with some regularity … “At the helm of the Dreamship, Odysseus has time to wonder”. Little doubt this was a cosmic framing intending to rationalize the confusion and indecision of youth, that while one may have captaincy of the journey of life, that one might not know what to do with that command.

Throughout life one has probably engaged in various perceived heroisms, of doing long and hard and far things, things that take one far from home. Eventually though there comes a time where one may desire to return (of just get to) the place where one belongs. Then the seemingly simple journey, the journey home, is undertaken and whoa – it wasn’t supposed to be that hard. Storms, Sirens, enchantresses, serpents, even a Cyclops, such an unimaginable wealth of adversities arise to obstruct the journey! The strategems and navigations and good fortune required to get home may be far larger than ever anticipated.

That we navigate life in a sea of dreams, that the sea itself transcends our expectations and our power, that at most we may be lucky and successful captains of that journey, aye – having a steady dream ship would be a tremendous asset. And so begins the tale.

I sought to build a proper bed frame. Post and beam I thought, for such is a redoubtable architecture. I purchased two 20 foot red oak 6×6’s. One I had ripped into 3 x 6’s and then halved each to have rails. The other I cross sectioned into 3 and 4 foot columns and mortised in such a manner that the rails could fit, roughly a six foot by six foot platform. I envisioned joists spanning the rails, purchased five 2 x 6’s for the purpose, as well as sheets of 5/8″ plywood and 1/4 inch masonite to act as decking. A stout base indeed. For the head and foot boards I went into the countryside just east of Augusta where an old couple who made maple syrup also cut and sold lumber. From them I bought four 2 x 10 x 5/4 x 8′ red oak boards. That was in 2020. The project came to a stall with COVID and because it was hard to get the rails to fit the mortises as one person and my methods for cutting the tenons was juvenile and inferior.

Musing never stops though, nor dreams. Supposedly there is much that can be told by how the brain is resonating at any given time, as well as the variations across time. We do know that when dreaming, theta waves predominate.

Fancy struck, looking at the waves stacked as above, that if the space between each wave (from the bottom up delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma) were itself a board that one could cut the edges to match examples of the waves, so that the bottom edge of the lowest board of the headboard would have the edge of delta and the top edge of theta, that the second board a bottom edge of theta (matching the top of the bottom board) and a top edge of alpha, and so on. The headboard could be constructed so that the height where one lays ones head is right at theta. Fanciful, yes.

Fancy continued to strike. A dreamship, is it? How will it be powered? Of course it must be powered by wisdom. From whence? Why from whence all wisdom emanates. Where is that? Uh, uh … Athena? Jeez, really? Really. And by what agency will this power be vested? Um, um … Owls! Oh no, really? Really!

I began to recruit wooden owls. I know, I know, is crazy, but sometimes one has to follow an idea to actualization – that’s one reason ideas can be so dangerous.

There were other owls, owls that did not make the cut. The sketch below summarizes the final idea.


By the autumn of 2023 I fully recognized that the execution of this idea was considerably above my woodworking skill level. I was fortunate though in that a world class woodworker had moved to town. He had an open house, his open-mindedness was noteworthy. After talking for a few weeks he agreed to undertake the project. Also around this time there was another excellent woodworker who was retiring, from whom I purchased a wonderful flitch-cut walnut log. This would be relevant because I’d decided that alternating the wood color in the headboard and foot board would accentuate the design.

The magical realism element of all this bears some note. So how does a dreamship of this nature actually work? First one lays ones head on the pillow. So far so good. Then, or soon thereafter, or eventually, if it’s destined, one will begin to dream. This is like turning the ignition of a car. Vroom, vroom – the owls awake! We know that they’re in constant conversation both with each other and with their patron Athena. The theta waves produced by the dreamer are their fuel. Step on the gas and, because we know that dreams are trans-dimensional, of course the ship can fly through walls, can fly anywhere really, to any imaginable place and through any configuration of dissonances. Vroom vroom! A children’s book could/would be suitable here, “Dreamship Adventures”, but of course the larger and realer picture is that we all do it anyway, navigating to our dreamt-of destinations in life.

I love the actualization, pictured first sans owls.

and then ready to voyage

I feel deeply fortunate, privileged, and thankful to have been able to bring this about. I feel a sense of duty to bring to this marvelous platform dreams and choices within them that befit the wonder of possibility. It may be that the idea of home is less a particular physical destination and more a deep comfort in capacity, that one can navigate to where spirit and desire wisely suggest. This ship may be as the magic feather was to the beloved Dumbo the elephant.

Towering Whirligig

Yes, that’s what I’m saying. Babble, you say. Babel, I say.

Last Summer I had a long (10 foot) and wide (18 inches) piece of Ipe delivered. Breaking down the pallet yielded seven 10 foot 2×4’s. In the backyard there’s a patch that’s wild with vines: grape, bittersweet, Boston Ivy, and woody nightshade. I’ve long enjoyed watching vines compete. I thought perhaps to make a trellis.

Proceeding with little planning (that’s the norm) the ten footers were angled and braced. Some extension was crafted in the typical reach for greatness.

I dwelt a little on what should cap them, some great statue perhaps or a spooky Illuminati symbol, or worse. Ultimately I deemed these too message laden, but a wind sculpture, aye, might just be the ticket. Etsy.

A little wrangling and to the top it was affixed.

It still needs to be set standing more straight but the main task is accomplished. Whereas John Lennon favored the watching of wheels there are so many, and watching the wheels that choose which wheels to watch is so meta. I behold in peace the whirling and do not lament that I may or may not witness the fall of the tower.

Video soon to follow or a link to the website that will watch continuously and archive the footage in perpetuity.

Downstairs Bathroom Saga

It was when the walls began to melt that I had a sinking feeling. Clear eyed I’d go back each morning. Is this really happening?

Homasote and pin hole pipe leaks are incompatible bedfellows. Homasote is such a lowly thing as it is and pin hole leaks are insidious. Depicted below are the first stages of tear down, showing no less than four layers of wallpaper, said homasote, and that which is underneath. The homasote had acted as a sponge, carrying the moisture several feet from the corner and fostering a vigorous growth of black mold.


That corner contained a wide drain pipe, hot and cold feed going up, an several wire conduits.

Witness that wet green. And yes, the ceiling too. After finding the leak(s) my friendly neighborhood plumber replaced the failed copper with pex.

No less than seven rodent skeletons (it’s a very old house) were found in removing the old sheathing. One perhaps was a now extinct dire rodent.

I had help with the new walls and ceiling, a mirror cabinet and nice cherry casing for the pipe run. I was prepared to celebrate. I even trimmed the window, the door, and the baseboards in cherry all by myself.

Not so fast, Rabbit. In the course of temporarily moving the toilet and sink to allow the work to be done it was discovered that both of these had slow leaks, leaks that had to some extent rotted the floor boards adjacent. Without fear of wind or vertigo I undertook to replace the floor using the ample stocks of cherry wood in the barn.

Of course removing the floor meant once again taking out the toilet and sink. Showing subfloor after removal.

Cherry for the floor milled accordingly.

Cut to fit and again prepared to celebrate – but

the old subfloor, not rotted but tired, very tired. Screwing through the cherry to hold the boards down, the screws would not bite but rather spun, endlessly if so twirled. Vexation in heaps. Decided to replace subfloor as well, with two fit cut sheets of plywood, 1/2 + 3/8 thick to emulate the thickness of what was being replaced.

But observe, on the left of the toilet drain where the old subfloor had to be cut, that if a new floor were placed there, there’d be no support. Maybe a new floor joist in the wanting spot? At this point it was largely a journey of amazement anyway.

just to the right of the blue pex above note the notch I carved to support said new joist.

said new joist, of lvl.

and sparing you the minor challenges, this time arriving at success. Here it is fully tarted out, with a new sink no less.

Learnings? Not to underestimate, of course. Underestimation is the hallmark of the optimist. I have often too bright a regard for what is possible and too little a realistic sense of what it will take to actualize.

October Organizations

Began with clean up of the barn. A great pile of wood, long at the center of the barn, was sorted. Cinder blocks were allocated, 2 x 8’s were cut. A place in the basement was made and they were set atop the 2 x 8’s that in turn were set atop the cinder blocks, all in reverse order of course. This activity, un-pictured, caused the usual reaction by the local wooden Buddha community.

and how could it not be so, will such a magnitude of space liberated in which to exercise freedom?

Now what to do with such freedom? Heavens, there really are no limits except time and strength and blood and vision, boundless really. I guess then to reach heavenward, at least colloquially, a good first step.

There was a ten foot long wooden pallet that had arrived earlier in the summer. It spoke of not being garbage, of wanting to be involved in a higher enterprise. So be it, my ready answer, a trellis thou shalt become –

Probably sixteen more slats before fit for deployment. There is a small plateau on the southwest side of the yard, the grapevine plateau, all of 18′ x 10′ that seethes with grapevines, also bittersweet, Boston ivy, woody nightshade, a great richness of vines. The trellis will be set there to host a great dance of coexistence.

Stay tuned.

Orb Support

To be happy as a delicate glass bubble you must earnestly hope that the world around you offers proper support.

You may recall a few years ago the construction of a (naive) orb support from an old hand-hewn beam. A proud thing but not deep on design to resist the rage and power of rot. Rot gripped viciously from below, the scraps shown here –

Orb support, some might say that this is what folks do, protect their delicate orbs so carefully, indeed, I felt compelled as well. I had some pressure treated wood lying about. After chopping off the rotted base I affixed it.

The prospect of a better world can be enticing, of course. Rather than a cross a windmill, not for any symbolic reason, simply to avoid any further hacking into the central column.

By this endeavor an interval has been purchased. Absent some graver and more particular calamity the support should last for, hmm, my bet is a decade, I could lose that bet. We never really know the weather.


It might be something of an exaggeration to call it that, after all those being a type of massive structure built in ancient Mesopotamia, but nonetheless.

And what is it?

Taketh thee first 4 canisters of flaky layered Pilsbury Grands. Do not be feint of heart. Prepare several pounds of savory viands. In this case it was a parts of a tri-tip roast, a London broil, and some sirloin tips, browned tender with garlic and onions. Prepare also an warm and inviting sauce. In this case it was a combination of two sauces, the first being of 5 onions, 40 dried and homegrown tabasco peppers, and a quart of last years tomato harvest sauce. The other sauce was that from the ‘Heavenly Pork’ served at Easter, again tomato based, with thoughtful heat, black beans, and a depth of flavor. Full of warmth and nuance when combined.

Piece together eight of the biscuit dough pieces as a sheet. Layer on sauce, meat, shaved asiago, and spinach. Repeat. Repeat. Lather and rinse if you must. Repeat. Put it in the oven. 375. Cook till dough in the middle is fully baked. How long is this? Consult your proven oracles.

Let it cool. Slice.

Pictured slices were cut in thirds, all in all yield was about 16 servings. Froze most, awesome background snack to have available.

Mark my footsteps now good page, follow in them boldly!

Thunderbird Update

For several years the chainsaw Thunderbird stood as the figurehead of a display garden, a garden mostly of rocks but sometimes of flowers.

Wooden Thunderbirds, however, at least as rocks see things, are notoriously temporal. Fleeting even, the brief buzzing of a mosquito. Even what a rock would consider the tiniest bit of time, a blink, and soon gone it will be.

The rocks voted to establish a semi-autonomous Republic. They elected a piece of petrified wood as their leader. Perhaps this is progress.

There is high excitement and much amazement among the stones. Who would have thought this possible?!

The aging Thunderbird was given a beautiful, quieter spot to complete his return to the Earth.

Oh Beautiful

For spacious skies, giving loft to every bird.

Dinosaur eagle with war potatoes

Ring-necked motley bird

early birds

Martian insects, perhaps?

sainted birds

and trees of course, each one a home for so many

Happy 2022 everyone

2021 New Garden

Silver maples are often multi-trunked. They grow rapidly and are given, at some point, to just falling down. This one had six trunks and was quite ill-tended when it became mine to tend.

Getting that diagonally standing trunk to fall properly took a fair amount of contemplation. It fell just as desired, though, landing on the lawn and not over the stone wall.

Eventually I undertook the ‘mighty’ task of digging out the stump. One autumn, as children my siblings and I were once tasked with digging up the stumps of a dozen locust trees. That was one of the greatest learning experiences of my life, of what a person or persons could do, and of what it took to do it. Axes, shovels, ingenuity, each in good measure, and heaps of effort.

Thanks heavens for the chainsaw, is all I can say, not that heaps of effort are still not required, especially for trunks of this size, but as a force multiplier. With just an axe this would have been nigh on too monstrous a task.

Very vexing to the chain, and perplexing to me as to how the circumstance arose, was the rock inside the wood – that’s right, rock inside the wood, below. Live, learn, and buy new chainsaw chains as needed.

As you can see below, even with all the trunks cut away, that’s still about 5 or six feet in diameter of trunk area.

Earnest application, is all I can say, over the course of a few beautiful April days. The soil was so exquisite and the light on it so nice, that’s what made me think ‘garden’.

Full of promise

By May, with rose bushes, tomatoes, Siberian iris, celery

First rose in bloom, iris too. Peppers added

By July, with red yarrow, cosmos, datura. Over-planted, as I tend to do, but fun.

It was very productive. Mostly tomatoes and roses. The celery proved very vigorous too.

Expansion plans abound for the coming year. What a joy.