Building the Pink House

The Pink House house is made of rammed earth, and heated by geothermal energy – through in-floor water pipes. The floor is concrete, which is the best conductor for in-floor. The heating is supplemented by a Tempcast masonry stove, the latter the greenest cheapest way to heat a house, its radiant heat used in pre-electricity Europe. For the first year, we only used the masonry stove, and it kept us warm, despite the 12 foot walls, and massive central hall.

The cost savings of geo-thermal were substantially less than advertised.

Read more…

The Full Catastrophe

October 9, 2018
Over the weekend, Lena Dunham announced that Christine Blasey-Ford’s testimony triggered her fibromyalgia. This illness, which Lady Gaga also carries, along with millions of others, is barely understood. It is a kind of rheumatism, a disease of the nervous system, muscles, tendons and sinew that bears some resemblance to depression, and is often treated by anti-depressants. It is perhaps a somatization of depression, along with a maladjustment to massive structural change. Equally, as Dr. Sarah ...
Read more

Burying the Past and Dancing on its Grave

October 7, 2018
I miss my mother’s house. My daughter visited me last week for two days, unencumbered by children, husband or work to do. I was reminded of how nourishing I found skiving away from real life and hiding out at Ginny’s among the Imari porcelain, silver, and mahogany, the treasures of 150 years of ancestral collecting.  My mother sits now in an Imari urn with a Foo dog finial, overseeing my house, its ancestor, its guardian ...
Read more

Vulnerability is Universal

October 7, 2018
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.” Rainer Maria Rilke
Read more

Will Kavanaugh’s devil be paid?

October 6, 2018
Yes, yes he will.  Bret Kavanaugh almost paid with his career and family happiness for the sins of bros and hoes, for hooking up culture, for the trivialization of sex and love, for the madness of the age. The spectacle was epic, it was Shakespearean, it had Falstaffian figures like the creepy porn lawyer, it had outright frauds like the rape train accuser whose name should be lost to history, like tomorrow.  It had Evil ...
Read more

One foot in fairyland

September 23, 2018
Found on Althouse today, “the most complete people are those who, as Chesterton wrote, have “permitted the twilight . . . with one foot in earth and the other in fairyland.”… I do not pretend to be complete, not even on my most effulgent days, but I definitely have a foot in fairyland. And many of my companions are disembodied.
Read more


September 21, 2018
An extraordinary gathering of 75 attractive, upper-middle-class white women of a certain age testified in a DC hotel today, Friday, September 21st.  Here’s the gist of it:  there is no better male character on earth than that of Brett Kavanaugh’s. The man they knew, and knew well, is incapable of the brutish behavior of which he stands accused. But here’s the thing.  Who’s to say what happened?  By all accounts of the culture around those private schools ...
Read more

Jian Gomeshi begs pardon

September 14, 2018
The New York Review of Books published a 3400-word essay by the CBC radio host who used to beat the crap out of his sexual partners.  Somehow I don’t think the smarm…correction…charm is going to work. The New York Review’s meticulous take-downs of the shaggy orange monster must not be getting enough traffic.  This is one of several recent essays by or about literary or academic stars who like to punish their putative inferiors.  Makes their scene ...
Read more

All We Need to Know About the Kavanaugh Hearings

September 8, 2018
Read more

Canada’s Gathering Disaster

September 7, 2018
This morning we were treated to ex-journalist and George Soros sycophant. Christia Freeland, giving a press conference on how very very very complex trade negotiations are, so hard us punters just won’t get it, not in a million billion years.  We just that stupid. Most of Canada watched with a jaundiced eye.  Most of us think she is dragging her feet so that either a) Trump loses the mid-terms and Democrats in Congress will save ...
Read more

Sanity, Intimacy, Safety, Home?

September 6, 2018
At this time of year, I go to town hoping that the tourists have swept out in a giant wave leaving the island to me and the 10,000 others that call it home. More like 6,000 really, because a good third of the houses are second or third homes for the ever-busy rich who come each year to piggyback on our country vibe and stare into the void from their ocean-side cottages and glass and ...
Read more