Rock. Gardening. Rock. On.

What once was a rocky knob in the landscape, too hilly for farming, a higher point on the landscape traversed by deer and other animals, (some of them hunted by thousands of years of our human presence), full of fossilised seabed, converted to suburban estate tract, with a small backyard patch of mowable grass, became an herb garden….

…then a flower garden…

…and slowly but surely returns to its forest roots…

The frogs remain the same…from 2004…

…to today!

Can we tell you with these images how happy we’ve been, living the childhood dream of a full-length adult life centred on a cottage in the woods near a town full on intelligentsia?

Would you understand we’ve too often let others temporarily convince us that two people quietly living their lives for each other and no one else can’t possibly be true happiness?

On this, St. Patrick’s Day, whilst we wear a Munster rugby shirt, drink Earl Gray tea and burn a bit of peat turf, our wife at a friend’s house handcrafting note cards, we recall this day 12 years ago when we and our spouse stood on O’Connell’s Bridge in Dublin with work colleagues, snow falling, and watched the Americanised version of the Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We drank quite a bit in those days.

We don’t consume fermented beverages in the quantities we used to, giving our set of states of energy the opportunity to live and die without the poisonous effect of alcohol pickling.

In our mid-50s, we’ve survived our midlife crisis years that extended from age 39 (when we jumped out of an airplane) to age 55 (when we bought a motorcycle).

Now we settle down, childless, free of the pursuit of a reproductive mate that included seven years of dancing, drinking and sleepless nights.

We return to our core set of beliefs that include this cottage and the near celibate life of a woodland hermit monk.

We give up pleasing others, reduce the need for chameleon personality traits, disregard our adolescent contrarian ways and meditate on relaxing, no expectations, no deadlines, nothing but the pure joy of meaninglessness.

We’ve written the text we needed to form our own personal creation myths — poems, short stories, novels, skits, plays and sketches, including photographic essays (“a picture’s worth a thousand words”) — removing the need for creation myths and organised religions of others.

We wonder, other than this ongoing set of dispersed blogs, if we’ll write a fictional narrative tale that’ll take on the traditional book-length novel form.

Should we? Do we need or want to?

What if being here is all we want?

Food for thought…just in time for lunch!

Daily progress

Spent the morn measuring and testing the platform for the writer’s room portion of the backyard meditation space in the woods…8’x8′ the simplest base size…

Will precut and predrill the pieces after the greenhouse is finished.

Speaking of which, it looks like the greenhouse rock foundation idea will win out, which meant scraping dirt until we hit solid rock outcropping…

North view

East view

We want the greenhouse to be 8 feet high at the center, motivating us to build a two-foot tall foundation.

The greenhouse base will rest on 4″×4″ posts secured to the concrete footings and the rock foundation built around that.

Something like these images from the Web…

Can hardly wait to pick out and pile rocks but we must sleep, too.

But first, we pause to meditate whilst staring at the treehouse…

Good morning!

The Moon, Saturn and a small fleet of lifesaving vehicles greet you this cold, crisp, freezing morn!

Small advert below:

One of our coworkers, Liz Taylor, was featured in the picture of the day for a blood drive at the local offices of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency…

Jan. 25, 2018: Mike Parker (front row), MDA/ICTM and Keith Garrett (back row), MDA/EET, participate in the MDA Wellness blood drive in Huntsville, Alabama. MDA participation included 60 personnel and 50 units of blood donations were collected.


Forcing ourselves to say “we,” “us,” and “our” takes practice and a bit of patience.

Even so, we’re here trying to adjust to the habit of seeing the body typing these words as more than one human but rather an amalgamation of conglomerations of perturbations of possible living beings traveling together mainly on one planetary body, itself a mixed bag of rocks, liquids and such.

But we digress.

Instead, we must confess.

Whilst redesigning the backyard meditation/writer’s studio, a play space/work shop, we find ourselves in such a quandary because we can’t decide the final look and function of the base/foundation for the greenhouse.

Making a skirt of pallet wood would create an air gap between the rock ledge and the floor of the greenhouse, a small but steady influence upon the greenhouse ambient temperature within a few inches of the floor. The skirt might keep larger creatures from hiding and living beneath the greenhouse, if we want such.

Making a rock foundation all around the base of the greenhouse would prevent wood-chewing animals from munching their way under the greenhouse, and offer the same passive cooling benefits as the wood skirt.

Leaving the space beneath the greenhouse open to all creatures, regardless of classification due to size or predator/prey status, would be the cheapest solution in the short term.

We like the idea of stacking our own stone foundation, building a set of skills we don’t have.

The next week or so will show what we decided in this matter.