"Hi, Claudia."
It was the Real Estate lady. I never like getting calls from her the first week the houses are rented. Especially when I'm far away and soon to be a whole lot farther. And, as you know, already my septic alarm has become a whole-family affair.
"The tenants at Claudia's say they have ants."
"There weren't any when I left. Did they leave dog food down?"
"They say all the food is in Ziplok bags. Can I tell them you'll call the exterminator?"
"Well, sure. I'll call the bug lady."
"But they just love the house, and they're having the best time."


the neighbors

This is the house next door in Block Island. I have taken some wonderful pix of it with the full moon, but I really like this one.
This house may not stand much longer; the neighbors told me they plan to take it down in the fall and build a historic-district correct house similar to mine.
But I like this house, falling apart as it is. Even falling apart on a tiny slice of land it went for something like $1.2 million. If it was mine I would keep the retro roofline and make it into a glass box. You should see the view.


changing places

Truck to ferry to compact car.
To Massachusetts.
To Woonsocket.

Into the rental truck, and now playing in New York.


ready for prime time

And also very ready to get off this island!


row row row

Appearances are deceptive. This is no tranquil scene. Dangerous waters swirl. . .


clay heads

Sorry, fans, it's just been very crazy around here and will continue to be until Friday, when I'm outta here. Keep on surfin'—but don't expect any big waves.



Happy summer solstice! In keeping with the kitchen appliance motif, Woo styled the micro- wave at Claudia's Surf City. Keep in mind that we already did the refrigerator a couple weeks ago. What should we do next?


cooking with gas

It seems like ages ago—well, it was ages ago—that I went out to Staten Island to pick up a much adored Chambers stove that had outlived its owner. Yes, this stove is the same type also adored by Julia Child. And me in Block Island. And now, finally, by my sister, who designed her LEED Silver-rated house's kitchen around it but was unable to install earlier thanks to certain buildings officials. Let's hear it for the girl: She found the manual on line, took the stove apart and cleaned it, refitted it for propane (from natural gas), calibrated it and now is cooking with it.


guess what

Do you know what this is?


art through the ages

They givith and they taketh away. The Artist who goes by Neruda wanted the silverfish -eaten Madonna on the left at her Block Island digs, and she also wanted her still-drying paintings (right) fetched back from Block Island to the Berkshire studio. This mother-daughter act obliges.


six yards

The driveway was in need of some remediation, so I caved and had a dump truckload of road mix delivered.
There ought to be a better headline for this picture, but I have to go out and rake the rest of it now.


our beach

This beach is right in front of the Block Island house. Look how clear the water is, how perfect the sand.
I feel threatened. You can't walk Kathleen's home beach in Alabama any more. The white sugar sand is covered with brown gelatinous gunk, and the emerald gulf waters are a thing of the past. It happened so quickly—from perfect to a setting for one of those postapocalyptic industrial wasteland sci-fi stories. We might as well start our conversion to cyborgs right now so that all we'll need is motor oil.
Here is a picture of the Alabama coast two years ago.
I think I will walk on my beach today.



Certain people have been scornful of my efforts to do an ad for Craigslist, so I have been trying to make a picture of the Claudia's Surf City living room that critics will approve. It's hard for me (not being a professional) to balance the indoor and outdoor light so you can see the view. I styled the scene yesterday (ie, moved all the paint buckets to the other side of the room) and waited for the light to be right and the ferry to be visible coming into the harbor.
And CBA pulled into the driveway. You can see her truck through the French doors. But not the ferry.
It happened three times! A picture not meant to be. . .


spiffing up

Two weeks from today my rental season starts. It's down to painting the sills, washing the curtains, caulking the shower, cleaning out the closets and counting the sheets and screens. And panicking.
Am still looking for two weeks in August. This is posted on craigslist.


ready for race week

Block Island businesses are ready and waiting for the sailboat crowd to come into port. I launched my most recent story and hope it doesn't return to port for overhaul.



Not only was there exciting weather that required covering and uncovering the giveaway books by the side of the road, but I was trying to write a story and the truck brakes went out. The fact that half of the blog readers are not reading on account of either they are staying with me or dropping by several times a day plus having no interweb here on island to comment probably adds to the poor quality of my postings. That and the parties. However, the party will be over soon, so expect all to resume. I got this punch list that keeps getting longer. . .


people will take anything

Thank the goddess. I took many many old books off the hands of the librarian on Block Island years ago because I can't bear to throw books out. I still can't bear to throw them out, but I also don't want them any more. The solution: Put them on the road.
So far this year I have unloaded many flyblown books as well as half a container of Jack Daniels Maple Syrup, an aging sailfish rig, marginal duvet covers, a chipped plate, a half can of wood stain, a jar, assorted road maps of London and Nevada and other stuff that was bothering my life. Now it can bother someone else's.
Chris G and I have a bet on whether the puzzle with seven pieces missing will go.
And I have my doubts about the several ancient sets of encyclopedias.


so proudly

I don't know what country this flag this is from. Do you?


what a spangled web we weave

Everybody's got a home to take care of. Some do better in the rain than others. Flat roofed places like the Goose—or like Hannah and Chris's—are not the easiest. The expectant couple had to hustle off-Island yesterday to deal with a mainland downpour that went down the waterspout. No, wait, that was the itsybitsy spider.


idylls of the queen

Now known as the Queen Mother. Or Grandmater Familius.