Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Tote That Barge

Tampa Area

You an' me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' an' racked wid pain -
Tote that barge, lift that bale
Get a little drunk and
You lands in jail...

I gets weary and sick of tryin'
I'm tired of livin'
And scared of dyin'
And Ol' Man River,
He just keeps rollin' along

We went to Venice to help Susan with her Taxes on Thursday. Susan's husband died suddenly a year ago December. She's the classic innocent spouse who needs a friend. Then on Saturday night we had dinner and drinks with Mike and Argie at Frenchies on Clearwater beach. The sand is still there, but the old Florida sleazy motels have been replaced by giant condos and motels.

The last two days have been spent toting bales in the storage unit. We gave our plumber all our beds, lawn furniture, sofas and rattan furniture. This has enabled us to move from a 10x30 unit to a 10x10 unit, a $220 a month savings. There were an incredible number of 90 pound boxes of books that I had to hump up to as much as eight feet high. I'm tired. Would you like to be the boss for awhile?

Two more days and we head for Spain for three weeks, then a summer touring the USA again, There are still places we haven't seen. I want to stand on my head in Mono Lake, like the Pink Floyd album.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Savannah, Georgia

We're in a little RV park outside Savannah. I've found a new Captain's chair I like for the Blue Bus. It only costs $2,700. The uniform is $60 more. We had thought to maybe go see the Eighth Air Force museum back on exit 102, but I think we will press on to Tampa this morning and say our goodbyes to friends, family, hairdressers and medical staff before the trip to Spain on the 1st of April.

The boat building on Saturday went well. Dave, out in rural North Carolina, arranged the event for fathers and sons in the small congregation. I fill in because Kenny is not supposed to be exerting himself. The church members take turns bringing gluten free dinners to the family during Kenny's illness. I met the temporary pastor, Tom. He's filling in for the regular guy, who was called for duty in Iraq. Dave is an American Airlines pilot. You'd want him for a neighbor. Dave's wife provides a delicious chili for lunch.

We got there 90 minutes late because the oldest, number 52, my partner in this adventure, was coaching a soccer team on which one of his brothers and other five-year olds play. We also left the boat building marathon for three hours in the afternoon for another soccer game on which he was playing. Despite all that we finished on time, a model of American efficiency.

Here's number 52, attaching pieces to the boat bottom. His Mom tells me that she wants him to do all the work...No problemo...that's the same approach we used on the swing set, I tell her.

The finished product, ready to paint, is amazingly light, but sturdy. We leave it with Dave because it won't fit in the Toyota. Number 52 will paint it Hot Pink later and give it to his sisters as a present.

We decided to have a bottle of red wine last night with dinner, but they don't sell alcohol in Georgia on Sunday. We had a glassful of leftover Merlot that we've been hauling around. It was slightly off, but after all that abstinence, we got a little buzzed on just one glass.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


Whispering Death

A Great Grey Owl landed in our Oak tree yesterday. Like most owls it hunts mostly at night by the sound of mice and other small prey moving in the bush.

Hunting by sound might explain the huge head. Having ears far apart would be a competitive advantage in locating the direction of a tiny sound.

The bird appeared to be about 20 inches in length. They prefer to live in deciduous forests surrounded by meadows...

Suddenly, out of the darkness, the winged predator pounces on its tiny, unsuspecting prey...nature... red in beak and talon...

Owl droppings are full of undigested bones and fur.