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Category Archives: The house

Spring so far

Lettuce, started from a plant bought at the local mill Though the early spring is exciting, there is a big risk that a cold snap will cause a lot of damage. The apple trees have held back, almost as though there is something wise about them. The peach trees, on the other hand, as well […]


Lily tries out a new game she just made up, which is a variant of Hide-Around-the-Corner-and-Git-You.

Another snowfall photo

Every snowfall is an excuse to shoot photos of the house. This photo is from the 10 or more inches of snow that fell on January 7. The landscaping of the abbey is still a work in progress. There are 13 of the arbor vitae trees, most of which are about a third to half […]


[Click on image for higher resolution] As much as I’d like at times to live in a real wilderness, I can’t. The abbey is in driving distance of a Whole Foods, after all. But I do love the woods. It’s strange, but when you want to look through the woods, winter is the time to […]

Christmas wish: Deeper woods and a real drawbridge

Woodpiles are a symbol of security, aren’t they? [Click on photos for higher resolution] I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t seem to get past the gloom of the election. The feeling of being surrounded by madness, by mass delusion, and by white hatred keeps intruding. The virtual drawbridge isn’t working […]

Snowy Sunday morning

I’m sure that everyone who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the foothills are very glad that the winter’s first snow fell on a Sunday morning. There’s no excuse for leaving home.

Still life with roses

Eight days ago at Trader Joe’s, on impulse, I bought a bundle of 20 roses because the price was agreeable. I expected them to last four or five days at best. But, more than a week later, they’ve opened nicely and are still going strong. Pots of flowers always remind me of San Francisco. If […]

You mean you can cook with fire??

My first primitive efforts at cooking with fire The abbey’s back deck has been woefully underused in the seven years that the abbey has been occupied. This is because there was no furniture and no creature comforts. I had been on the lookout for deck furniture, but I never seemed to come across something that […]

Wild persimmon blossom

They’re very shy and try to hide behind leaves. They’re small, and they don’t last long. The abbey has lots of young wild persimmon trees that volunteered in the ditch along the roadside after the old pine trees came down seven years ago.

The new painting is on the wall

Some months ago, Ken commissioned a painting of Acorn Abbey from Frank Duncan, a local artist. The painting is now hanging on the wall at the abbey. It’s a large piece — 56 inches wide. We put a lot of thought into the painting, and we chose to submerge the house into the woods and […]