Monday, July 27, 2015

LAW 41:Yet more cat tales

King of all he sees

Magellan has been with us for three months now. In truth it seems as if it has been a life time since we brought him aboard. He has proven to be the most mellow of feline friends; he puts out a paw of friendship to everyone he meets, as well as his head, his belly..... you get the drift.

Please, oh please my tummy needs attention!

Now if i could just break him of his two truly neurotic habits: 1) the daily, multiple washing of the galley floor, and 2) the rather worrisome game that he and i play every morning while my coffee is brewing.

Wait i just saw something, let me down!

 We have been very cautious about allowing the boy unfettered access to the great outdoors. On the weekends there's far too many people here. Behind the marina there is a large swath of undeveloped forest/marsh. Ideal kitty playground all to true; also likely home to many a wild critter that might possibly take umbrage to the great explorer Magellan horning in. So, he only gets to go out under supervision. He actually takes the supervision pretty well, normally he will stay within eyesight; that is if we keep our eyes on him. If, however we get wrapped up in conversation, or grilling, well than of course all bets are off, and he is usually hidden in pretty plain view. At this point the rescue posse spreads out and he will be found, usually with a superior look on his face, very clearly waiting for one of us to pick him up, bring him back to the gathering so we can all play this wonderfully fun game again. And again,...

Hmmm, no one's watching

He continues to be the best personal assistant that either of  us have worked with; evidenced here as he lends Mungo much needed editorial assistance.

Cat, employing the Edgar Cayce method

What a joy this absolutely wonderful rescue cat has been. We constantly ask ourselves, who would give up such a great cat? 

More later,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Ready to go to work

It is currently very hot. Very, very hot, here on the Middle River. The heat indexes for the last couple of days have topped 110 degrees. Since we have no air conditioning it has been more than a little warm here on the Floating Empire. Luckily for us it has been quite pleasant under the trees. So much so in fact that i have essentially moved my studio up there for the foreseeable future.

threading the eye of the needle

I hardly know how to express what this wonderful  gift  outdoor community space means. Tom has created a beautiful, comfortable space in which we can hang out. Under the 'Drinking Trees'  a soft breeze  almost always greets anyone with the time or inclination to stop for awhile.

the view from my new studio

The cast often changes; by the hour, by the day, everyone stops, chats about marina and personal affairs, allows how life, here, certainly doesn't suck, and ultimately moves on. I sit and sew, thankful for this incredible opportunity; living, working, enjoying life on the river.

more studio views

More later,

got to enjoy your work

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Those of you who live in a big city environment may think that there are no foraging options available to you. That is very likely not true. Mungo and i live, admittedly on the fringe of Baltimore city. We are like most city dwellers, surrounded by the concrete jungle, yet we have found multiple opportunities to forage for a variety of the tasty goodies offered up seasonally by Mother Nature.
the target berry

We have been closely watching a long stretch of black raspberries since they started blooming. There was no inconvenience, no extra trips to evaluate the ripeness of said berries, as this patch is conveniently located on the way to one of our favorite, local grocery stores. Alas, even with this almost daily monitoring someone beat us to the first ripe flush. Drat!
50 shades of red?

Persistence did finally pay off; Friday morning, armed with a trusty grocery bag (my berry pail having gone AWOL) we set off to harvest the bounty. Although we did get a goodly amount, we did not achieve the full potential possible, as i forgot that plastic grocery bags today are thin and flimsy constructs, incapable of fending off the aggression of thorns. Sigh. Luckily i had a hair tie with me, which was put to use repairing the damage.
the happy forager

Foraging has become very trendy, both on the personal level and for very high end, trendy restaurants. Interesting that what goes around comes around. Foraging, or eating wild has been a necessary part of human life for, well, forever. I remember both hating and loving the long, hot, did i mention hot and sweaty berry picking trips organized by my mother. I mean what self-respecting kid wants to great dressed up in long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks, shoes, hats and most annoyingly of all, gloves! in the middle of August in Northern Wisconsin. Right! Uggh! We would spend hours, it felt like an eternity to us, stripping bare the forested verge of one or more local farm field, all with permission of course. It would have likely took far less time than it did if  not for the 'one for the mouth, one for the pail rule'. Of course once out in the field the gloves would come off; i think there was some sort of competition to see who could get their hands the most beautiful, deep purple. Hours later, pails finally full to my mother's satisfaction, we would tramp out of the woods, whining about the myriad mosquito bites, scratches and of course, how hungry we were. Those were the days my friends. If we only knew.

poor little broken bag

More later,
Check out Onboard Cooking to see what happens to the raspberries!

Friday, July 10, 2015


Our good friends Chris and Shannon decided a little while ago that they were not going to live their live's under the thumb of their corporate masters. On a Monday morning not to terribly long ago as they were driving back to their 'day' jobs, they ran the numbers and decided to throw out their five year plan, and as they said, 'come home'.
first look at her

So, they joined Mungo and i as livaboards. We found ourselves wondering if we were responsible for their decision, you know, where we 'bad examples'? I think not! Admittedly in the best of times, with thorough planning stepping of the cliff(or plank) can be a scary prospect; particularly if you are abandoning the security of a good paying job, but if that job does not make you happy, does not fulfill you, and most importantly if you do have other options, why wait? Exactly! We are so imprisoned by the things we have, things, i might add, that we bought to make us happy, to make our lives' easier that we can no longer see the bars.
Nepenthe, remover of sorrows, or forgetfulness, seems appropriate

That said, they almost immediately discovered that their 25' motor boat, perfect for weekending, was simply not big enough for full time, comfortable, life. Since they already had been planning on retiring to a larger sail boat it was really only a matter of moving up the timetable. If you are not familiar with the beauty and utility of Craig's list, where have you been living? They found a 31' Cal in need of tender loving care, and after a couple of inspection visits and some minor negotiation found themselves the proud new owners of said boat, Nepenthe, by name.
yup! bottom paint does smell bad

Okay, so there is a lot of work to be done, most of it cosmetic. I did indicate that she's a 'project' boat. We helped them apply the bottom paint last week, the through holes have all been checked and closed. Chris is redoing the stuffing box this weekend. Nepenthe will be launched Monday morning, which is when we will discover the most important thing about her, or any other boat, will she float and will she float upright? Stay tuned.
Chris painting the rudder

More later,

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Do you think he would move?

Just thought that i would share more images of our intrepid fellow traveler, the most magnificent cat, Magellan. He has been with us for two and a half months, and although we still miss her,  he has filled most admirably the hole left in our hearts with the passing of Kalisti.
Magellan posing as a balloon animal

He has developed a very strong sense of his place: he fearlessly jumps off the boat onto our finger pier, i know he is contemplating the 'life aquatic' and no one's legs are safe from his paws, and occasionally, claws, when walking through his hallway. He has his own shelf on the baker's rack, the list goes on.


i know i put it over here

enjoy the fine feline antics,
more later,


Sometimes when i look out the loft window i feel as if i am living in a looking glass world. We are blessed with a great location here at the Middle River Landing marina. Most days the river is so calm that you can truly use the water as a mirror. These periods of calm coincide with two of my favorite times of day; early morning and sunset. The world, not just the water, seems to be quieter, calmer then.
fall fog mirror

Mungo is not a morning person. This means that i  usually spend an hour or two every morning quietly enjoying an excellent cup of coffee, in contemplation of the interplay of light and water. Often i feel as if M.C. Escher designed the world i live in. Often it is very hard to tell which is the real world and which the reflection. It is tempting to walk into the other world to see what it holds.

sail's reflection

Of course, even the calmest morning is interrupted by the ripples caused by a passing vessel, or sporadic raindrops, fish rising to feed, or an Osprey or Heron looking for lunch. The changes caused by these passing disturbance are, perhaps even more magical than the calm. What could possibly be happening to the inhabitants of my mirror world?

Maxfield's Heron

At sunset a different artist often takes over from Escher, his name,  Maxfield Parrish. The sky and water are often painted in those glorious colors that he employed in his paintings. As the last of the light fades from the sky it seems to lend a different sort of weight to the sky, somehow becoming richer, warmer, and heavier. Did i really follow Alice down the rabbit hole?

fall mirror

so still you can read the reflection