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John Duke's Blog (82)

Waiting for the Tooth Fairy

Ryan decided he would rather ski than lay floors, so we are letting our heart pine age another week in the cabin before he finishes off the den. However, Mr. Seals, in spite of suffering an abscessed tooth, has been diligently showing up at the cabin. Most recently, he completed cutting and fitting all the pine for the stairs. While he waits for Ryan to fasten…

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Added by John Duke on March 5, 2012 at 1:30am — No Comments

Not fade away

Call it global warming if you like, or maybe climate change, but this has been an odd winter in Richmond. The only real snow of the year started last Sunday midday and came down in wet clumps for hours, sagging telephone wires and tree limbs. As we should have expected, the cabin neighborhood lost power. We've designated Gotham as our safe house in case of emergencies…

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Added by John Duke on February 25, 2012 at 12:05am — No Comments

Small places

Every day, it seems, there is more to see in the cabin. Mike has been helping with painting and other things, while Mr. Seals works on framing the windows and doors and on finishing, bringing definition to each small space. He has a base coat of clay on the walls. They are white now, so we have to squint to see their future color. Pale blue paint is going on in the den and russet brown added to the trim on the fireplace…

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Added by John Duke on February 17, 2012 at 10:39pm — No Comments

From floor to ceiling

Ryan: "How soon do you want to move in?"

Darien: "Soon. Sometime between the fifteenth and the end of the month."

Ryan: "Of March?"

Darien: "No, of February."



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Added by John Duke on February 8, 2012 at 1:38am — No Comments

She's a Rainbow

There are colors everywhere, just like a rainbow. Or there will be soon.



The back of the cabin does not have as many logs as the front, so we needed to decide what to do with the wallboard. We looked at hundreds of different chips from different manufacturers and various color books, until colors were swimming all around us and nothing looked good…

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Added by John Duke on January 31, 2012 at 1:26am — No Comments

Fire and Water

The cabin has been bustling with activity. In rapid succession, the gas was hooked up to theGE Cafe stove in the kitchen and water was run to the …

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Added by John Duke on January 26, 2012 at 12:57am — 2 Comments

Nesting

I came over on Christmas Eve to check progress at the cabin. Inside was a small bird flying around, a Carolina wren. I think maybe she was testing things out, to see how livable it was. She seemed pretty comfortable, so I think we must be getting close.

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Added by John Duke on January 10, 2012 at 12:57am — No Comments

Hard rain a-fallin'

The rains came hard in Richmond, but the cabin held. Winds gusted up to 65 mph and streets flooded. After twenty minutes of huddling in the Pollack art building to protect me from the ferocious gales and listening to transformers around me blow, I dashed to my car. It took me an hour to wind my way home, trying to find streets that weren't blocked by downed trees.…

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Added by John Duke on December 17, 2011 at 1:15pm — No Comments

For everything

For each new morning with its light

Mr. Seals called us on Saturday morning, asking us to meet him at the cabin. With the shortened days, it is harder to take a look at things in good light during the week, so were happy to oblige.

 

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Added by John Duke on November 24, 2011 at 1:36am — 2 Comments

The zombies walked

I told Linda, who has worked for years in the office of our insurance agent, that sometimes it seems like we are handing out our credit card like it is Halloween candy to pay for the renovations. She murmured words of sympathy as she informed that she would do what she could, but that the underwriter was canceling our policy because the cabin has been vacant for so long. I…

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Added by John Duke on October 31, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Turn to face the sun

Last weekend I was working in the back near the bottom of the slope, trimming back my piles of bamboo to reduce their size and stacking them so they will decompose more quickly. The sun can still be very hot in Richmond at this time of year, but if you turn and face the wind it will cool your…

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Added by John Duke on October 22, 2011 at 12:20pm — No Comments

The zombies walked

I told Linda, who has worked for years in the office of our insurance agent, that sometimes it seems like we are handing out our credit card like it is Halloween candy to pay for the renovations. She murmured words of sympathy as she informed that she would do what she could, but that the underwriter was canceling our policy because the cabin has been vacant for so long. I…

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Added by John Duke on October 1, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Blow wind blow

The hurricane Irene that followed hard on the heel of the Mineral earthquake have kept things interesting for us. Although Irene was no Katrina, it blew in a lot of troubles. After the initial fury of wind and rain, the neighborhood was left devastated. Fallen trees blocked streets, killed electrical lines, and damaged houses. We were fortunate not to lose any trees, although…

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Added by John Duke on September 21, 2011 at 10:09pm — No Comments

Swamp on fire

The Dismal Swamp is on fire, sending acrid smoke north as far as Richmond, reminding me of a full-on smog alert in 1965 Los Angeles. They sky feels like purple rain is swallowing the city. Darien and I have fled to Minnesota, hoping the smoke will clear by the time we come home.

 

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Added by John Duke on August 22, 2011 at 7:22pm — No Comments

The gates of hell

God gave Noah the rainbow sign,

No more water, but fire next time



After the torrential rains of the previous week that came with such fury they could have floated an ark, Richmond became hellishly hot, with the heat index hovering around 110. One gauge said the temperature alone was 109. It is easy to see how fire and brimstone…

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Added by John Duke on July 26, 2011 at 12:36am — No Comments

Come on in my kitchen



You better come on in my kitchen

It's goin' to be rainin' outdoors

Fortunately, the kitchen has remained dry through the torrential rains we had last week, even though some water is getting in elsewhere while we are waiting for the roofer to come show us some love.

 

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Added by John Duke on July 11, 2011 at 11:42pm — No Comments

Fixing holes

After Mr. Seals finished putting the new header log into place, he turned his attention to a pair of two by fours that had been used to replace damaged log braces in the ceiling. He had a pair of logs that he had salvaged and shellacked, which fit neatly into place after he notched them. He also tore out the very fresh looking boards in the the ceiling that had been patched…

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Added by John Duke on July 5, 2011 at 11:38pm — No Comments

Exalting the humble

Mr. Seals knows how to recycle. Not newspapers or cans, but 16 foot logs.

 

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Added by John Duke on June 27, 2011 at 1:30am — No Comments

Hat trick

Read more at http://condemnationplantation.blogspot.com/2011_06_01_archive.html

Added by John Duke on June 18, 2011 at 1:02am — No Comments

Time to remember, oh so well

I'm going to New Orleans in June, a city battling flood waters once again. Richmond isn't as bad as Louisiana, but the Lord could just be softening me up for the trip. We've had torrential rain off and on for days and the river is swollen and swirling. Some water began dripping into the cabin and we had to position buckets to catch it. Mr. Seals set up a fan to suck some of…

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Added by John Duke on May 22, 2011 at 8:45pm — No Comments

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