… on chasing spring


Light through the barn window, and also a life-preserver…

Yes, that is light pouring in through the old barn window in Maine.  And also a life-preserver.

To save me.

Because if you look closer at the photo above, like if you zoom in, you will see four or five little white circles at the top of the photo…to the left of the life-preserver.

See ’em?

That’s frost on the nails!

No I am not kidding!

It follows the nails in from the outside and hangs out on them on the inside.

And that frost is not welcome here, and I am not offering it coffee.

Go away, frost.

It is April something as I type this! (And no I don’t even know the exact date because I am flummoxed due to the lack of Spring and leave me alone).


It’s the 8th.

April 8th Two Thousand Fifteen.

And that is frost.

And I am pissy.


I am also up in Maine fixing things that are, or were, broken.  And that always feels good.

So here are some bricks:


Some Bricks

I happen to be a big fan of bricks and, when we were restoring The Inn up here in Maine (not really an Inn, but used to be in, like, 1900, so we still call it that).. anyway, when we were restoring it, we had to fix the screen porch which had a wood floor over a pool and no I am not kidding about that either.

Because the former owner, Mr. Walbridge, thought his grandkids would like to swim on the screen porch, that’s why.

I know, what a phenom of a grandfather he must have been!

And so it was really funny that the only way to get to the basement was to go out to the screen porch, pull up a trap door in the wooden floor, and walk down into an empty, electric aqua-blue cement pool, and walk through that, and pass under a doorway, into the basement.

It was like a magical portal from Miami to Maine.

Sadly, it was crumbling and not very structurally sound so we needed to find another place to put the entry to the basement, which we did, and it is not nearly as fun as the pool entry was, I can tell you.

So then we needed to fix the screen porch, which was slowly sinking into the earth, we decided to put a foundation under it, and fill it up and make a floor on top and we chose brick.

From Chicago.

Cuz who wouldn’t want to look down at their screen porch floor and see bricks that were once parts of streets, clip clopped on by horses a really long time ago?

John, that’s who (because when I said I was getting these cool bricks from Chicago he was blank and then I changed the conversation very quickly because he was just about – I think – to ask what the premium was for clip-clopped on Chicago bricks vs. un-horse-trodden-on Maine bricks. 

I think I mumbled something about the old bricks being more structurally sound.

This soundness, however, turned out not to be true of the walls.

Rot, rot, rot.

So, after a decade we decided to do something about it, and so I came to Maine to see what was happening on the screen porch and stuff is actually happening!


All the rotted panels are in a pile and now my porch is going to be made of coal.

Yep, you heard me right. I will have a screen porch in Maine that is made of coal.


Because people in New Zealand figured out how to take coal ashes from coal and combine them with some sort of glue stuff and create fake wood that doesn’t shrink like that plastic stuff and also does not…drumroll please…


Way to go Kiwis!

So soon I will have a coal dust porch, and on top of the coal dust sills there will be a screen, partially protected by plexiglass, because two German ShepHerds that’s why.  And a shelf too, because those dogs need a place to rest those feet so they don’t claw my screens instead when they are protecting me from vicious Maine Mooses.



And, of course, you can see the barn from that pic too, and yes that is a rotting off clapboard, which is a remnant of the Black Hole Disaster of 2014. We are still working on that too, but things are looking almost done in that department and soon there will be a floor where no floor had boldly been before.

Boldly being the operative word, as opposed to crumbly. And rotted-y.

So my spirits are lifted and I am feeling much more spring-y (spring-i-fied?) because work is happening and it is actually happening outdoors, and the temperature was so warm I did not have to wear a coat while I checked things out.

Also, the dang groundhog said there would only be six more weeks of winter and that was nine weeks and two days ago.

Here is an important break in the action that you are unaware of… I went to bed after that last line because I felt too rant-y. I mean, who am I to complain that spring isn’t coming to New England fast enough?  Nobody, that’s who.  So I went to bed to get restorative sleep and a better attitude so I could write you something uplifting this morning. 

Which is now here.


I woke up all excited and feeling positive and spring-y and I was going to show you this cute pic of a pencil drawing that one of the guys did, that must be some profile for something yet to come to the screen porch…


See that? I took that yesterday.

And if I wanted to show you today’s version… hang on, I will…


A little different, no?






The fluck.

When I went out, birds on trees even looked confused.

I think I even saw one repacking her suitcase while her mate looked for the lowest airfare on Expedia…

Dang it!

Thanks for readin’

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