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    Half-Acre Homestead

Home of artist J. D. Harris in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

"…Two of the more remarkable things about the Harris's home and studio are that there are no blueprints other than a sketch on a piece of paper, and J.D. built most of it by himself, with little help.
'It's all in his head,' Cathy said. 'He just sketched it to show me what my new home would look like. Every cut and nail is in his head.'
   'It's all two-by-fours and one-by-twelves,' J.D. said. 'I can see this so clearly in my mind, and it stays. It doesn't just come and go.…'
   Others have constructed sloped roofs, J.D. said, but he came up with a way to do it without steaming the wood, which would be impossible for some of the lengths he's using in his roofs. He figured out a way to put two 2x4s together, put pressure on them and then nail the joints with nails at different angles so the planks hold their curvature.
   How did he get 40 feet in the air to do this?
   By building the walls from the ground up and making a hand- and foothold "ladder" out of pieces of 2x4 nailed to each vertical section. 'He hung upside down by his toes from these to do some of the work,' Cathy said. 'I couldn't watch.'"
Sent us by Fred W. Weisenborn

Cob with living roof, Portland, Oregon

"This structure was designed in a group setting, with input from architect Mark Lakeman, builder Scott Howard, and school headmaster Maitri Erson, among others. Construction was lead by Scott Howard and Joshua Klyber, assisted by architect Gabriel Prost. Completed over two consecutive years during the annual Village Building Convergence with the help of hundreds of enthusiastic people. Scott created this work with many artistic elements inclduing: Stained glass windows depicting local landscapes, woodcarvings of animals and plants, and colorful mosaics."

Sea shells and staggering beauty today

Beautiful sunny day after a lot of rain and cold. I got up early and worked until 1 PM on the tiny houses book, then went to beach. Look at these shells. The beauty out there in the world sometimes staggers me. Years ago, when the kid in American Beauty said the below, it resonated:

"…when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude…"

New graffiti on beach yesterday

Great blog: onetrippass

Check this out. So few blogs look this good: http://www.onetrippass.com/blog/ 

The Half Acre Homestead in the 21st Century

On Tuesday I did a talk/slide show titled "The Half Acre Homestead in the 21st Century" at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. The course was titled "Shelter," inspired by our 1973 book of the same name, and taught by Kristen Sbrogna.
This is the 2nd presentation I've done on the subject; the first was at the Maker Faire last year in San Mateo. I started creating a home and surroundings 50 years ago, have gone through a lot of trials and tribulations as they say, and felt that my experiences might be of interest to anyone attempting to evade the bank/mortgage or high rent syndrome of getting a roof over one's head.
Above: one of the slides, showing our kitchen dish drying/storage rack, built years ago by Lew Lewandowski. Dishes are slid into slots as soon as rinsed and remain there until used again.

Cajun Gypsy

"The wanderings of a Cajun who has had to leave the corporate world and rat race for health reasons and has moved into a small, Class B (van) RV and simplified his life."

Feedback from Nevada City, Calif.

Restaurant on coral reef in Indian Ocean

"Rock Restaurant Zanzibar" in Tanzania. Mixed reviews on the food, but location, location!
From Evan Kahn

Cycling into sunset

Danny cycling up the road Friday night. Danny has beautiful curly auburn red hair, and when she got into the light, it glowed.

Dave and Dogs on the beach yesterday

Fisherman Dave and his girlfriend have, between them, 3 chocolate Labradors. When Dave would throw the stick into the channel, they'd dive in and race to it. As soon as one of them grabbed it, they'd swim to shore en masse and beg Dave to throw it again. They raced around the beach, digging holes, chasing each other, leaping and bounding. Dogs know how to have fun!

Godfrey Stephens' carving tools

Aren't these beautiful?

For Bob Dylan fans only…

Can we talk?
Last week on Sirius radio they played "Most likely you go your way and I'll go mine," and it was stunning. After all these years, it sounds better than ever.
Put on Blonde on Blonde, track #9. Jesus! And if you've lost it over the years, buy the album. Trust me.
Then time will tell
just who fell
And who’s been left behind
When you go your way and I go mine

Several years ago, my neighbor Chick, who has turned me on to music such as J.B. Hutto and the Hawks, gospel singer Dorothy Love Coates, and the radio recordings of Hank Williams — said, "Listen to Blonde on Blonde." And I did and was knocked out and played Dylan music for weeks.
Boy, was something going on back then! It can almost bring on tears.Click below for words.

Colombia police catch drug-smuggling pigeon

"Call it a case of high-flying criminal ingenuity: Colombia police captured a carrier pigeon trying to fly into a Bucarmanga jail with marijuana and cocaine paste strapped to its back, the BBC is reporting.
Officers say they recovered the bird about 1 block away from the prison. Carrying a package with 40 grams of marijuana and 5 grams of a paste containing cocaine, the bird -- which police believe had been trained by inmates or accomplices -- appeared to be unable to successfully clear the prison walls.
"We found the bird about a block away from the prison trying to fly over with a package, but due to the excess weight it could not accomplish its mission," said Jose Angel Mendoza, the local police commander, told the Telegraph. The bird is reportedly now being cared for by the local ecological police unit."