Amanda left, Emily right


I’m 58 at this writing. I can brag about my daughters.

Our trip to California this summer was for Amanda’s wedding to Scott. Was a great trip and a really fun wedding. We’re happy for both of them. Amanda started out teaching the kids of migrant farm workers for AmeriCorps, living in a cinder block room next to the strawberry fields. They’re now living in the Philippines, a teacher and a guidance counselor.



On the drive to the venue – next to Lassen National Park, 20 miles from the nearest town – we got a text from Amanda saying “Call me when you get to the fire trucks!” This is not a good thing. Especially in California.

The weekend before, Amanda’s wedding planner got married herself. She had to rush the minister to perform the rights before the guests arrived. A wildfire was bearing down on them, and forced them all to evacuate. So it seemed like we were gearing up for a repeat.

A crew was there with trucks and flashing lights, and helicopters that emptied out the pond at the ranch where the wedding was held, to dump on the fire across the street. No more pond, but no more fire. Fair enough.

Emily was right in the middle of it. She’s been working on fire crews in Oregon on the weekends for years. She actually had her gear in the truck, along with her bride’s maid’s dress.

Back in Oregon she’s been working a lot of weekends as a woodlands firefighter. Last week she sent these video clips from where they were cutting a fire break and setting a back burn.




It seems the whole western side of North America is on fire this summer. Just so happens the last crew she was on was all young women.


Emily on the right




Somehow this is news, which I guess is nice.


What was news to us was that Emily, at 5 feet tall and 110 pounds, beat out all the men on her certification test carrying 80 pounds of gear on a forced march. The other women on the crew had to do something comparable.

During Amanda’s ceremony, smoke still lingered on the surrounding peaks. Days later, the big Carr fire exploded to the west at Redding. She and Scott sent photos from their first day back in Manilla, of flooding from a typhoon.

I raised two fearless daughters.


Mason Jar Chandelier


Once the new kitchen started to take shape, the old swag light in the sun room really looked out of place. Cleaning out the basement, I came across the box of antique mason jars that held flowers at our wedding. Our anniversary was coming up, so it seemed a shame to throw them away.

Instead, I decided to surprise T with a new light, one that would remind us of that hot July day on the farm 19 years ago.

The jars are suspended in canning racks. There are mason jar fixtures in the center that are on dimmers. The whole thing is nested in LED string lights that turn on separately and add a nice glow.

Makes us smile when they come on in the evening.





























Kitchen Renovation ~ Phase 1



After 20 years in this old house, things have gotten pretty tired and worn out. A few projects we meant to do and just never got around to, now have a lot of other things that need getting around to, as well. And they take precedence over boating; though weather has been terrible for that, anyway.

Finally got around to redoing the kitchen cabinets. Needed an exhaust fan, so had to design a hood that would vent through the chimney. There was originally a wood cook stove there. And we always hated the overhead ceiling fan light, so wired up some LED under cabinet lighting.

T collected a variety of vintage pulls and handles, which fit with our eclectic style – the original cabinets were made from scratch when the house was built – we kept those, adding new ones that are similar but different. Pretty much nothing matches, and we kind of like it that way.

Then sprung for nice new granite countertops from Albemarle Countertop Company – at least in half the kitchen. We may do the other half in Phase 2.

A lot of work, but we’re really happy with it.  This photo series shows the progression from before to after.

Continue reading “Kitchen Renovation ~ Phase 1”

Leatherwing Bat

Leatherwing Bat from EyeInHand on Vimeo.


For our little flying friend,  Leatherwing Bat by friend and local singer/songwriter Nettles on his EP “Bells”.

All this unstable weather.

It seems today it spawned a tornado that touched down a few miles from here, bouncing down the Carter’s Mountain, rooting up peach trees in the orchard, tearing out windows at the girls’ old high school.

Maybe the little guy just wanted a place to hide out for a while, until it all blows over.




Rainbows Lightning Sunset


direct youtube link


Intense storm front came through this evening. Temperature dropped 25 degrees in just a few minutes. Ten miles west of here, the same storm dropped hail the size of half dollars.

It passed quickly. Behind it the clouds broke up just as the sun was going down. For a while there was a double rainbow, lightning, and a sunset all in the same sky. Lightning actually shooting through the rainbow. Amazing.

Didn’t have my camera with me, jut grabbed a little with the phone. I really should just keep a good camera with me all the time.


New York in 1911

Some extraordinarily well-preserved film footage shot of New York city in 1911.



The most striking thing is that the broad avenues and boulevards are filled with pedestrians. This is not one of those rare festival days when they shut down the streets for people to use – this is normal, every day. The streets were made for walking. Horse carts, cars, and trolleys all share the road. All move at a walking pace, which is why it works.

Also, the windows of the skyscrapers are open. There is no air conditioning in 1911. People live in apartments on the upper floors, with the windows thrown open to the breeze and the sky.

But umbrellas have not changed in over 100 years.