lightening the load

A new version of What's in the Truck.
Guess  how much it cost to take this truckload of craperoni to the dump?
Worth every penny.


trick or treat

Which do you think it will be?


shower built

It's all over but the—tiling, trim, final plumbing. Hope to get that underway soon. All of y'all who have ever showered in the shower at 98 Riverside know that this one is definitely not a tight squeeze. The weather is tropical, so I'm still showering (often, until it gets too cold) out of doors in what has become much Googled as The Best Shower in the World.


keep on ticking

We bought one another these watches some 30 years ago, back when the world was our oyster. Nothing is perpetual. But we're still keeping time, if no longer making it!

PS For some real cute baby pix, check out the new link to andbabymakestres at right.


fall rush

Hoping to obviate the necessity of doing rush work in the spring, the shower manufacture continues. Today the plumber resolders the pipes he already installed to move them deeper into the wall, and redrills the hole he already drilled to fit the copper pan. I think he feels like he's "going so backwards," in

the words of one of my story subjects. Meanwhile, the Savage (and  faithful hound) make screen doors. As always, my duties in fine home building consist of  painting, cleanup, going to the dump (open only four days now) and paying. It's the latter that sometimes creates panic. "No linens, no us!!!!!" one of my longtime tenants wrote.


not quite yet

Before I can sail away on the Block Island ferry, there are a few things I have to do. Like, I have to put the candles and soap in a container where the mice won't be able to smell it. I need to put all the latex paint in Johnny's basement where it won't freeze, clear stuff out from under the houses and around the yard (boats?) so it won't blow around, power wash the barbeque grills so I can stow them inside without (again) animal issues. Oh, and yeah, build a shower, hang screen doors, close storm doors and etc.  Then I have to get things shut down in Missouri and opened up in New York. Feels like too many households at the moment.
But that's the hospitality industry for you.


cold case 2

There are lots of trite things to be said about the fall—and I've said them—but I'll say again that the seas are bluer and the skies are indisputably better than at any other time of the year. The combo knocks me out. And when, as last night, a full moon comes up over those seas and lights up those clouds—wow.
   But if you live in an unheated and uninsulated house, you have to decide when the point of diminishing returns kicks in. For me it usually occurs the first week in November. Until then, I take a bath at night to warm up before popping into bed early, get up late and run downstairs to turn on the propane stove and grab the compter before getting back under the covers for a while. Guess where I am now?  Today I think I'll do something I used to do as a kid: Warm up my clothes under the covers before putting them on.
   And, yes, the refrigerator cases are back on at the grocery store. Not that I really need a refrigerator at this point, though I own five.


wave bye bye

Once Mama and DaddyMan and Baby (and a number of sheets and towels, some pasta sauce, a bag of dog food) were all packed up there was barely room for the dog.


cold case

Here's the problem: One power company (also one gas station, same owner as the power company, one transfer station for trash, same owner). Our power is the third most expensive in this great land of ours, after that of a little Texas town (for reasons I don't understand) and the island of Kauai (for reasons I do understand). And apparently the power produced yesterday (transformer problem?) wasn't the right kind to run the cold cases at the one grocery store on the island. It's a game of monopoly.


women's work

Three generations deal with at least three generations of sheets. Many, many sheets to the wind.
Today: towels.


hallelujah baby doll

Yes, I'm dogging it, blogwise. I'll be back witcha after we finish sorting all the damn linens in two summer houses. Haven't yet finished the sheets; not started the towels. The final ruling is: byol. We can't cope with all the wash. Will supply guests with duvet covers, king pillow cases, dishtowels, beach towels, bathmats. Other than that, we're locking our shit up.
If you'd like to read Camilla's birth story, check out her mama's new site and baby makes tres.


the littlest hostess

Baby entertained a host of relatives this weekend—my ex-in-laws, her great aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. There were dinners and brunches, hugs and arguments.
   With her faithful, though somewhat gloomy, companion, baby slept through portions of the entertainments but always awakened ready to party some more. This quality, it goes without saying, comes from my side of the family.


fall in the sky

Sunsets and dawns bracket wild nights of storms and dreams. In the daylight the shreds of murderer mysteries and surfing competitions, of lovers and babies, scatter like the cumulonimbus clouds.


what a feelin!

So I'm upstairs, making beds (big surprise), when all of a sudden
What a feelin!
I run downstairs to see if someone has walked in my door with a transistor radio. Nothing. Back upstairs.
What a feelin!
What the heck? Run back downstairs to see if I can catch some little imp in the act. Nope. Record player still off. CD player off. Radio off. Maybe I'm going nuts. Back upstairs.
What a feelin!
This time I make it back down in time to zero in on the direction the sound is coming from. Aha! The middle of the living room. And then I see the musical greeting card I'd forgotten about, lying there. The wind flips it open.
What a feelin!


a little kewpie

Baby is a month old, and today we are all (except her) going to the clinic to get our flu shots so we don't transmit something she can't handle.
   Yes, I know what all you conspiracy theorists and health foodists believe. But I believe in evolution and scientific proofs and I did it for a trip to Russia with the Vice President of the United States, and I'll do it for baby doll.


note to tenants

 This is going out to this year's tenants. How would you decide?
 As of Columbus Day weekend, our season is officially over, and we’re beginning the summer recap. We hope you will weigh in too.
    Despite the rising (and excessive costs) of electricity, water and propane, we have not raised rents in several years. However, some of you may have noticed that cleaning was more expensive this past summer. Previously, my daughter Hannah and her husband Chris and I did the linens and made the beds (and cleaned the grills and other outdoor stuff) for free. This year, because Hannah and Chris were pregnant, and I was in the Ozarks, our cleaners did everything.  It was hard for them to do two houses —ten beds and six bathrooms and multiple loads of laundry—in four hours with fewer pairs of hands. Bedding got scrambled, and sometimes you all had to wait to move in. Sorry. We really needed at least one more person.
    Edie suggested that we not do linens next year. Apparently nobody else on Block Island provides them—either guests bring their own or rent them from a linen service. The linen service prices, indicate that it would be about $160 for Claudia’s and $185 for  Hannah’s.
    We like arriving in a hotel room and finding the beds made and would be willing to pay extra cleaning fees for that service.
   How do you feel?


sail away

Happy American Invasion Day!
   Today is also the day that the Americans depart the Isle of Misfits for America, not to return until next Memorial Day.
   The boat also took my sister and family and dog away, leaving me with a copper pan for the bottom of the new shower, and them with a touch of sun.
   It will also take CBA's brother away after his bachelor painting weekend. ("It's lonely," he confessed.)
   It will take away the wedding guests who attended the Block Island Unity Wedding of the Decade, when Old (Sprague) wed New (Leone) in an explosion of fireworks and festivities (I assume it was the later that awakened me with whoops and cheers at three ayem this morning). Exodus. Movement of the people.


bathtime for babies

and breakfasttime and snacktime and snacktime and lunchtime and snacktime and snacktime and dinnertime and snacktime and snacktime and suppertime and snacktime and snacktime and nighttime snacks and nighttime snacks and nightimesnacksandnighttimesnacks and nightime snacks and breakfasttime—you remember the drill. . .



This is Camilla and her great grandmother Shirley, or, as she is now dubbed, Triple G, for Great Grandmother G____.  Camilla is getting bigger, and Shirley, 95, is getting smaller. I met Shirley when she was my age now, and I was Camilla's mother's age. So when Camilla is her mother's age now, I will be Shirley's age now. Scary. But that's life.


baby's first boat ride

At three-and-a-half weeks, Camilla Garrison took her first boat ride, along with the dog, the kayak, the case of wine, the steaks, the veggie burgers, the stoned wheat thins, the breast pump, the impossible-to-assemble pack 'n' pray crib, the ultimate stroller and all the other accoutrements of her young life. She was greeted by her grandmothers and grandfather, her great uncle and aunt, her first cousin once removed and an uncle, age 7. The sun came out.
One hopes she rested well. One will soon find out.


before the rain

Then it poured. All night last night.
Now I am making beds.
Baby pictures tomorrow.


tech talk

I am very excited about this picture of the purple flag flying to signify that the boat is not running (the waves are unbelievable). It was taken with the Hipstamatic app on my phone, which simulates a blurry Polaroid. I made it even blurrier by photographing through the rainy truck window, a low tech app I often use. (I also use just plain not knowing how to use my camera.)
   All in all, it's been a good week in the tech world.  There was the charge on my bill for a new modem from Verizon. "I was told it was free," I said. "We will credit your account," the guy said. "Hang on while I do it right now." Then I called Waterpik to complain that my traveling "water flosser" (!!!) wasn't charging, and they said, not, "Send us your receipt" or, "Send us the old one," but, "What mailing address would you like us to ship to?" (How about that punctuation, huh? Do we think it's correct?) It came the next day. Fortunately that was Saturday, the morning the boats were still running. Won't be any mail or milk or water flossers or other physical goods shipping out here for a while. That's the weak link in this great wide web world.
   But wait! Just as I published that, I heard the horn blow signifying that the 8:15 boat was leaving. We're back in business on the material plane.


the difference a day makes

That boat won't be leaving the harbor today—it's blowing like a banshee. Kept everybody on the compound awake all night with clanging fireplace dampers, chimneys whistling, waves crashing, windows rattling.



Columbus sailed the ocean blue in _______
 That is the number of posts I have posted as of today since the year of our lord 2005. Almost never on a Sunday. More baby pix soon as the Happy Family gets out here. Promise.
   Today, two friends informed me that they are starting blogs.
   One David Cobb Craig does correspondence art (I still treasure a thank-you note he wrote me once. I felt like I should send a thank you for his thank you but then it would have gone on and on but come to think of it I could have framed them all and had a nice piece of art on the wall) and button art and scrapbook art and travel art. He would make you a memento if you collected the right stuff.
  The other, a scion of the ruling class fallen on hard times and now a first year theater student at the University of Minnesota, is writing about all that. I kind of think she is really a writer, though, so please welcome her to the art form of her choice at BornInATrunk@ThePrincessTheatre.
   And, yes, the ocean is real blue, but we're expecting a bit of a blow when the storm makes it up from New York City (where it has shut down the 72nd Street subway station) this afternoon. I will make soup (gasps of surprise here). The renters just pulled in, before the boat (likely) cancels afternoon ferries. The surfers are out in front of the house right now, keeping their heads above water, like all of us.
And remember, surf's always up at Claudia's Surf City. Since 2005