My new friend Tim, a builder in Eugene, writes "Blogs are an enigma to me. I mean it seems that if you are really as busy as all of that, how in the ___ could you possibly squeeze in writing regularly on a blog?" I respond, among other things, "...one has more time when one has little social life and littler yet extended family. " I exaggerated for the sake of prose: This week I stole enough time away to ski Mt. Baker in perhaps the best conditions ever with Sierra,. (ow, when did SHE get into better shape than me?), have an amazing pecan-encrusted dinner at Jeff and Carol Arvin's (Jeff, owner of The Cascade Joinery, the other west coast t.f. outfit that I fully respect), go out to the Wild Buffalo there in Bellingham to hear Sky Cries Mary, drag my sore butt home to see them AGAIN here in the totally-hip Doug Fir bar in Portland with Maxine, Iain and Judith on Saturday night. I'd have recovered today, (Sunday) except for being behind on communication ("I am, therefore I write," I write to Tim,) and 50 emails later, after reading 3 great chapters of The Hardy Boys to Jake River and getting him to bed I'm still pounding through the list.

Quick comment on Roderick Romero of Sky Cries Mary: softspoken until pissed off, and unendingly creative. I know him through Sierra, who used to date one of his carpenters, (Roderick told me he thinks she is one of the strongest woman he knows, after defying ALL odds and finding their tree house construction site in the middle of jungle, in the middle of Costa Rica, in the middle of the night, last year. Daddy was freaking, waiting for word of her safe arrival, but this isn't about me!) You have to see a live show. He now buys much of his treehouse construction wood from Pioneer Millworks, our little sister company.

We ALSO excavated the Vermont Street site

Our senses betray us during the building process. When we first buy a parcel, it looks big. Then we stake it out, and the home appears to be too small. (A few sticks and some red tape, relative to the unlimited outdoors.) Then we dig, and it seems large again. ("Are you kidding me?" asks Maxine at dinner on Friday, the workshop in the basement is larger than this whole restaurant!") It only seemed that way because of the overdig, or space outside of the foundation needed for elbow room while working. Then the foundation walls are laid, capturing and taming the volume...too small, and a smooth deck gets built above: sure enough one large open plain. And so it goes. We trust the original vision, or we get carted away as lunatics.

Loy from Montana writes today of their nearly completed project which was an original design of ours overlooking the Missouri River, and the original inspiration for the Vermont Street house, "
We both absolutely love the house and want to be out there all the time. So does everyone else who comes out or works on it." Maxine and I must trust that we will feel the same.