started self

It won't look like this when it dries, but better than it was!

Note to self: Do not sand, even if trying to stain. Worse than before.
Big news! Wind power!


When: Monday May 1st @ 5:30 AM – 5:50 AM

Purpose: The Block Island Power Company is permanently transferring the Island load to the sea2shore cable. To accommodate this work a short 10-20 minute outage is required. We apologize for the inconvenience. This is the last step in our goal of connecting to the wind turbines and mainland grid.


plus ca change

The self starter bounds out of bed at 6:30 in the morning, stubs her little toe on the corner of the bed while running—running—downstairs to turn on the Vermont castings gas stove.
Then the self starter considers returning to bed until everything feels a little warmer. Too boring—things to do!
The big chore of the self starter's morning comes next: Making coffee. Then the self starter checks the news to make sure nothing else has blown up overnight, the weather to ascertain if it's cold on the Island (yes, but we knew that) the e-mail to see if the cub has issued a release indicating that she is alive (nope).
The self starter pushes the pile of bills and to-do notes aside. Maybe later.
The self starter has signally failed in the past week to force herself to finish the tiny bit of painting and trim that will complete the project of redoing the guest room. Or the tiny bit of urethaning and paneling required to reinstall the toilet that sits on the porch. Who knows what marginal excuses the self starter has come up with? The self starter is already thinking about the next project.
The self starter needs to complete one project before thinking about the next. The self starter needs to start self. Immediately. 
That was written in 2005. It could have been written this morning. 
As B points out, to the tune of "Sixteen Tons"
 A dozen years later, and what do you get?
Three more houses and deeper in debt
St. Patrick please help me, all that I want to do
Is sit on my back porch and have me a brew
One thing that has changed, however, is the number of comments. Check them out here.


Do you like this painting of the Andrews House on Block Island? You could make it yours as a duvet cover, shower curtain, throw pillow or phone cover on this site. Barrett was somewhat dismayed to discover that her house had been painted and marketed without her knowledge, but the view is from a public footpath, after all.
   Meanwhile, if you want a real Andrews, Sperry Andrews that is, check out Barret's eBay postings here and here.
    And if you want to check whether these or other photographs are aesthetically pleasing, you can go to an amazing site that is developing an algorithm to determine just that.
    And if you yourself are decluttering, here is a list of other sites beyond eBay and Craigslist you can use.
    And if you want real live aesthetics, check out Kate Knapp's Front Street Gallery in this TV travel show about Housatonic.


On little Block Island we believe in magic. Everything is magical—the seasons, the tides, the winds, the stars—until science comes up with a theory and proofs to explain the phenomenon. ( Belief in that which cannot yet be proven is faith. Science and faith can coexist, uneasily. I prefer to keep an open mind.) Many magical mysteries remain, but climate change is not one of them. As the polar ice melts,  islands will grow ever smaller. Some will vanish entirely, along with my little piece of heaven. That is fact. Can you wonder that islanders all over the world support science-based action?


meanwhile in ny

Wearing clothes and sweatshirt to get into bed up here in Block Island, while spring has sprung in NYC, according to Debby, who took this picture.


but does it hold water?

 Well, after all that up-all-night worrying, Hannah's  tub has made it from China to Block Island and been installed. Now all that remains is to turn on the water and see if everything works! The mice are ready to give it a go.
    The dryer, on the other hand, needs a new motherboard. It is only one-plus years old (the plus is what puts me out of warranty) and went on the fritz after one season.
   "Block Island," said the  Sears man sympathetically. "Power surges. Appliances just don't last."
   "Tell me about it, I said. "A refrigerator every other year."
   The dryer was in hopeless pieces until a guy named Duane arrived.
   "Do you know about dryers?" I asked.
   "I do," he said firmly.
   That gives me to hope. He put it back together and told me I need a new motherboard. He said he would order and install it. And he apologetically showed me eight screws. "I don't know where these go," he said. "When I take it apart, I know how it goes back together."
    Maybe they are immaterial. We'll see when the new motherboard is installed.


different daffodils

 Here's Hannah wearing her Easter hat some 30-odd years ago (above). Here's Camilla wearing hers on Easter morning  (below). Same hat, different daffodils, different generation. I wish I still had that turquoise dress, too.


Easter went on for days, with dinners and egg hunts and stuffed bunnies and many, many relatives. Kudos to anyone not present who can name these people and their relationships to one another.
  Oh, all but the Easter bunny who is no known relation, though on Block Island you never really know about anyone.



Sun sets on the compound. Well, not really. We still have five houses. But the two at right (above) belong to new owners. And Johnny is busy building down the Neck (and training the next generation of carpenters) and settling in off the island.



 Well there was this. I thought I had fixed everything but the kitchen sink at Claudia's Surf City. New part ordered for the kitchen sink.
 Then there was this. The new washer dryer I have used but one season. Dryer won't heat. No idea whether or when Pete will be able to put it back together again.
But then again there's this! The chandelier salvaged for me by the handyman at 98 Riverside installed by Lynn Brown's electrician who actually showed up!
And then there's this. Which makes all of it worth it.



This is actually Point Judith, not Block Island. I arrived on island in beautiful weather with neither water nor gas, but dudes came and hooked it up pretty quick. The island is awakening with daffodils and budding bushes, but still considerably colder than the mainland, hovering around 45-50 degrees. This is material if it's the same temp inside the house as out. "It may be warm by July," said Alan.


sister carpenter

 My mighty sister created the box to enclose the plumbing for The New Tub. It isn't easy being square—I never could have done it! She has an enviable chop saw and workshop (with motorcycle) and whipped the thing up posthaste. It joined the rest of the wildly assorted stuff in the truck and is now being polyurethaned. Looks like the plumber will be able to install next week. And then my sleepless nights of logistics will be over. At least for that project.
  Sorry not to be posting, but no Internet at Claudia's.


the sickbed

Things aren't that bad when you get to stay home and watch a lot of TV.



Wish I'd had the forethought to take a selfie: me in my camo shorts and Peter in his tux. Dude looks good in his tux, and as comfortable as I in my camo shorts. Perhaps that's because he's had to wear the suit for decades, as a symphony director, fundraiser and first-nighter. He told me that one of the things he taught students in his orchestral management class was how to tie a bow tie—on another person. He said conductors and guest stars arrive at concerts frequently needing someone to tie their bow ties. However, when his vest was missing a button, he was the only one on deck to fix it.


identify your chain

Printing museum quality photographs at 56 or so.

Heading off to Sarajevo at 26 or so.
Chien-Chi Chang, above in real time with his picture of temple/asylum inmates (left), says that each of us has a chain. I'm thinking maybe we all have many.
He asks, "What is your chain?"