Patricks Flickr documentary of the May class
I'll begin by getting the 'poor me' portion of this update out of the way. The injury still sucks, and despite my best efforts with physical therapy, massage, trigger point release, acupuncture, deep breathing, essential oils, prayer, seances, ouji boards, and voodoo..... It STILL f***ing hurts. Slight improvements over this spring include: the ability to work mostly without pain, and some light carpentry in my off-time. Still off the list is any sort of hiking, climbing, running, paddling, basically everything I do to stay mostly sane. Prognosis is still totally uncertain, but I am choosing to believe that one day I may actually be able to paddle again. Fortunately I still have my sense of humor and my fingers to type, so lets move on....
Summer being upon us, it's time once again for classes at the shop. People show up, they build stuff, they walk on the beach and hike to pretty places, I get some money, they get a boat, we have a potluck, it's a marvelous time. People keep coming, so I can only assume we're doing something right. A giant improvement this year is that we finally have the GOOD SKIN back in stock. The last few years have been extremely frustrating with ballistic nylon in increasingly short supply resulting in kayaks that were at times less tight than my pathological perfectionism can tolerate. So it's a tremendous relief that my supplier finally found a huge amount of the good stuff- 9oz nylon that cuts and sews perfectly and shrinks up tight as a drum. It's about time! Another thing I want share is the flickr photo stream posted by Patrick a recent student in the may class. He did a beautiful job of capturing the process and has given me permission to share. Thanks Patrick.
Patricks Flickr documentary of the May class
Intolerant of my roommates dog, M the amazing supercat has moved down to the shop full time where her incredible personality endears her to everyone she meets. You too will fall in love with her. We had quite the scare a few months ago when one of my shop-mates let her into their studio where she promptly chowed a whole bunch of rat poison, but after a frantic and expensive night, and a very tenuous few weeks, her survival seems assured. This comes much to the relief of my shop-mate who had unfortuate displeasure of hearing the following words spoken clearly and with menace an inch from her face: "If my cat dies I'm going to light your car on fire." (please don't judge, I was upset at the time)
Up at the farm an alternately wet and warm spring has kicked the chlorophyl into overdrive, and we are planting and harvesting like crazy in an ever increasing frenzy to feed a 65 person CSA, the local farmers market, and my fiancee's farm-to-table restaurant. The amount of sheer work that Ginger and her rotating cast of 2-4 interns manage to do in a week defys the normal laws of physics and reinforces my belief in passion as a viable fuel source for the future of mankind. While I do own half the farm, my work here is that of building and maintaining the infrastructure and thus I am spared the ravages of trench warfare in a pitched battle to keep nature from eating it's own bounty before we can. Strolling through the quiet fields in the evening, drink in hand, I am overcome with an intense gratitude to be part of this important journey toward learning how to feed ourselves. The impracticality of shipping food long distances in an oil-scarce world is coming faster than we think, at which time our cities and suburbs will have to return to local food sources. The fact that we can do this on the north facing slope of a temperate rainforest gives me a lot of hope for that.
Building things for others to breathe life into being my raison d'etre, Lee and I have been on a tour de force of as many restaurant spaces as possible gathering ideas and details for the build out of her new restaurant space. That's right folks, from the construction team who brought you the bright idea of farming in a coastal rainforest, we present the newest insane project: A salvaged, hand built, custom interior for Lee's new farm-to-table restaurant, opening this winter in Manzanita. I've always been a go-big or go-home sort of individual and this build out certainly qualifies. Lots of rusted steel, reclaimed boards, fat fir slabs, live edge wood, antique mirrors, edison bulb lighting, burlap, and brass will form the canvas upon which Lee can practice her art of blending the absolute freshest in local produce and grass-fed meats, with her background in fine dining. The outpouring of support she's gotten for the restaurant is truly touching, and both her and I are committed to doing everything possible to make the new space a success. The current location, Dinner at the Nehalem River Inn, is open thurday through sunday, with more days added as the season progresses. I encourage you to come out for Dinner!
At present I've been keeping my carpentry chops sharp with lots of little projects around the house, and my humility chops sharp by having to ask for help with damn near everything. :( Since vacating the Japanese house completely for full-time rental, Lee and I needed a new place to hang our hats. Hard to believe that this was our tool shed a month ago!? This cozy little cabin right in the middle of the garden is perfect for our needs. The woven cedar Japanese style railing fences look awesome and were ridiculously easy to build!
Another thing I just finally got around to was hanging this F-1 frame in the rafters of the Japanese house.
Also easy to build are these simple stairs in the forest. They facilitate a walk up to a favorite tree, where for the moment I sit and wait, contemplating life without exercise, but still doing my best to make the most of my time. As always, I'm grateful to be employed, to live somewhere beautiful, and to have the opportunity to share my passion for beautiful simple things with so many people. See you this summer, or whenever....
An avid paddler, builder, and teacher, I'm passionate about sharing the strength, lightweight, and beauty of skin-on-frame boat building.