Our little community.

By request, a few snaps of Deborah’s retreat-in-progress down in New Mexico. The concept, per Deborah:

In a nutshell:
100 acres in Abiquiu, NM
First in a series of small buildings (less than 200 SF each)
Cabin, then bath house, then kitchen house etc
This cabin has no electricity or running water, the rest will have though
The buildings won’t be connected, must walk outside to get to each
This isn’t meant for daily habitation, will be a retreat/getaway

So here’s the architectural rendering of the cabin, which is what’s being worked on now. The vertical slats are to screen sun, and some will come off in winter for “passive solar gain,” whatever that is.


And here’s the work in progress.



And here’s Mr. Deborah and Little Bird overseeing the project:


I’m very impressed. It’s a great design. And I love the idea of the linked smaller buildings – it’ll encourage a different way of living.

And so we hit the holiday weekend, in a holiday mood. Let’s enjoy the sun, the fireworks, and of course, the FREEDOM.

Posted at 12:14 am in Friends and family |

42 responses to “Our little community.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2016 at 7:30 am


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  2. Judybusy said on July 1, 2016 at 9:46 am

    What an interesting project. I look forward to seeing it all come together.

    What is everyone up to this weekend? We’re getting together with various friends, and also getting to see the incomparable Lisa Fisher for the third time. The weather’s just perfect: high 70s low humidity. 57 as I drove to work today.

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  3. Suzanne said on July 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Having family time with both sides of the family this week-end, which can be a mixed blessing, as families usually are. So, I find the best way to manage is to latch on to the ones you like and drink beer. Happy 4th!

    I hear tRump is considering Christie or Gingrich for a running mate. Gingrich would be my pick (bad hair & trophy wife) to see if the moral majority’s collective head explodes. Two candidates with 6 marriages between them running for the party of the evangelical set. You just cannot make this up.

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  4. Deborah said on July 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

    We’re not going to drive anywhere this weekend. My husband went back to Chicago yesterday. We may have some people over and grill, but no formal plans.

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  5. David C. said on July 1, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Have you seen a picture of Mrs. G lately, Suzanne. She looks more Stepford wife than trophy wife. The fundies won’t bat an eye. As long as the candidates hate the right people they’re AOK. Actually living a moral life is way down on the list. 27th or 28th, I think.

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  6. Deborah said on July 1, 2016 at 10:35 am

    By the way, passive solar gain means the sun comes in and warms the concrete floor, then when the sun goes down the floor radiates the heat back out, or something like that. Passive solar uses the sun without solar panels.

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  7. adrianne said on July 1, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I love Suzanne’s calculation of how many marriages the GOP ticket would have with The Donald and Gingrich together. But alas, I think the New Jersey hostage (someone, please help Chris Christie) seems to be the favored choice. Just as more details are set to spew on Bridgegate.


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  8. Kirk said on July 1, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Yes, the Moral Majority is a confederacy of hate-filled hypocrites. No issue too big to sweep under the rug. Gawd forgives all, don’t you know?

    I’m hoping for more rain this weekend to dampen all the morons who seem to think the way to honor America is to make the neighborhood sound like Fallujah. I do like the local official fireworks show, which we can see from our front yard so we can drink beer and avoid the crowd.

    We’ll join some friends and ex-colleagues at a Sunday cookout and, on Monday, I’ll barbecue baby back ribs, as I do for all the big summer holidays. And I will practice my liberty to drink plenty of craft beer all weekend.

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  9. David C. said on July 1, 2016 at 10:56 am

    We’re going to spatchcock a chicken and throw it on the grill. I’m going to take my prednisone and hope it knocks back the bout of SI joint pain I’m going through so maybe I can get back on my bike before the summer is gone.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2016 at 11:14 am

    It’s going to be spectacular, Deborah, and I look forward to updates. But I can’t wrap my mind around having three places to keep up. Just one seems to be too much when you’ve been gone as much as we have this year. The weeds, they are everywhere.

    No big family gatherings this year since we had one for the memorial service last weekend. One person visiting, talk of the zoo, provisions laid in and a strawberry pie already made in the frig.

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  11. nancy said on July 1, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Deborah, if I didn’t make it clearer, I really like your place, and your concept. True cabin porn when it’s finished, I expect.

    And Kirk lives in my hometown, where I grew up. The only time I really miss it is around the Fourth of July — they go in BIG for the holiday there. I’ve half a mind to drive down and watch the fireworks from his yard, but I have to work the next morning.

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  12. brian stouder said on July 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Say – don’t miss Sherri’s linked article toward the end of the last thread, about LBJ. Very good stuff

    Julie – gotta love the Zoo!

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  13. Bill said on July 1, 2016 at 11:28 am

    We’ll be at our lake place with a houseful of family. Saturday dinner at a friend’s house and Sunday dinner at our house. Combined attendance: 25. Kids range in age from 5 to 55, so lots of fun, food and drink. Not to mention a boat parade and fireworks over the lake. FREEDOM!

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  14. alex said on July 1, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I’m in charge of planning the menu for a cookout at a friend’s lake place tomorrow evening. Wanna do something fancy like steaks or maybe roulades. Should be a good time.

    I second Brian on that article, and here’s the link in case any of you missed it.

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  15. Dorothy said on July 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    No family plans since hubby has to work (at home/possibly into the office sometimes) on a big project. But we’re going to go to IKEA tomorrow and have lunch at BiBiBop so there’s that. I’m going to finish piecing the backing fabric for my ’57’ quilt that I plan to enter into shows. We can grill and eat anything we want with no company coming. Steaks, Mexican corn, shrimp, guacamole are some of the things we plan to have.

    Deborah can you explain the thought behind no running water or electricity to the cabin? As someone who gets up at night to use the facilities at least once, I wouldn’t cotton to the idea of having to go to another building while I’m half asleep to get that done. Just curious.

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  16. Deborah said on July 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Julie, All the places are small so shouldn’t be that hard to keep up. The Chicago place is only 800 SF, the Santa Fe apartment is 850 SF and Little Bird takes care of it, and the Abiquiu cabin is only 190 SF. We’ll see how it works when we have other small buildings out in Abiquiu.

    One thing I should also mention about the Abiquiu project is another reason we are doing small individual buildings is that unlike building a whole house, this way doesn’t require a mortgage. We are stretching each phase out so we pay as we go Our rent in Santa Fe is low, so monthly expenses are minimal. After the cabin is done, when I’m in NM, I’ll stay in the cabin for 3 or 4 days at a time, or as long as I can stand going without a shower, then I’ll head back to Santa Fe to clean up and get Little Bird to cook me a good meal, then head back out to Abiquiu again for a repeat. The first order of business to take care of while staying in the cabin will be to clean up the scarring of the land that construction does. That will take months.

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  17. Deborah said on July 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Dorothy, the cabin will have a composting toilet. We have to drill the well before we start the bath house, and that will be quite expensive because we will have to drill at least 400 ft, and that’s if we’re lucky.

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  18. Sue said on July 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Not a big 4th of July traveler, and just as well this year, as we wait out the end of life issues of one of our cats. Meds twice a day, and the living room turned into a kitty sickroom, with a bag of fluids hanging from a curtain rod (100 CCs under the skin every other day), and food, water and catbox nearby. And all the lap time he demands, within the boundaries of work. Fortunately advanced kidney disease is a slow but relatively comfortable way to go, we’ll know when it’s time.

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  19. Jolene said on July 1, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I’m fascinated to see how your place turns out, Deborah, and how you like living in it. It’s a big contrast to the current style of having a relatively large, relatively open space with various areas defined by furniture and dividers that only partially divide, such as kitchen islands.

    When I lived in Pittsburgh, I had an old house with no downstairs bathroom, and it drove me nuts to, for instance, be cooking a big dinner for friends and have to stop whatever I was doing and go upstairs if I needed to use the bathroom. I used one of the upstairs bedrooms as a place to read and watch TV. Very comfy, but annoying to have to go downstairs if I wanted another can of soda.

    I guess I’m revealing how lazy I can be, but I love being able to move from one “function” to another in a few steps.

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  20. Dorothy said on July 1, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks Deborah. I find the whole plan fascinating! I’m going to enjoy watching it progress both here and on Facebook.

    Jolene – speaking of bathrooms and Pittsburgh, my parents’ first house was a little row house with three bedrooms. Twelve of us lived there until I was 11 and the youngest was 4. Then we moved into a much bigger house. Anyway, I remember my mum scolding my brother Dave to get the heck out of that Trenton Avenue bathroom. That’s when I learned the meaning of the word ‘monopolize’!

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Kirk, God does forgive all, but She gets very impatient with injustice. Why She tolerates stupidity for so long I don’t really understand.

    I’m spending most of the next four days hearing my son’s a capella group, jazz band, and marching band perform in between stints at the french fry fryer in the Scout troop fry booth. Come buy a large for $5, ketchup thrown in for free! And for two large, just $10.

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2016 at 2:36 pm


    And tonight in Hollywood is the last Garrison Keillor hosted “Prairie Home Companion.” Sniff. One more story about the news from Lake Wobegon.

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  23. Diane said on July 1, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I concur with Brain and Alex on the LBJ article and thank Sherri for sharing. Discovery things like that is one of my favorite things about nn.c!

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  24. Diane said on July 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Discovering, not discovery. (One of the reasons I’m a lurker-I can’t type.)

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  25. Icarus said on July 1, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    July 4th is the day I met my wife, so it’s an extra special day for us. Although since Moose & Squirrel arrived our birthdays and anniversaries have taken a back seat to keeping two toddlers alive.

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  26. Jakash said on July 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve noticed that the trend of holiday accretion so evident for decades at Christmas and for years at Halloween seems to have hit the ole Independence Day observance. Uh, it used to be the 4th of July. That’s a day. Chicago did long have its fireworks on July 3, which kinda irked me, but the idea of having the holiday the next day to recover from being out late was at least something. And, yes, the 3-day weekend does play into expanded celebrations, of course.

    But, it dawned on me this year that flags started popping up in yards and various spots that don’t normally sport them a couple weeks ago, at least. Which, despite my rant, seems a lot easier to take, to me, since there’s nothing wrong with having a flag up any day — as opposed to having your front yard look like a cemetery for a month, or having Santa and his reindeer arrive on your roof November 25th… Harrumph!

    Which is a VERY tedious way of getting around to asking Jeff (tmmo) — Do you happen to know why your Granville fireworks are TONIGHT, July 1? Talk about jumping the gun! ; )

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  27. Sherri said on July 1, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    I’m happy so many of you enjoyed the article. I read a lot, and find lots of interesting (to me) things, and I’m happy to have a community to share them with!

    Re bathrooms, back when I was in college, I worked at the computer help desk, on the 4th floor of the original engineering building on campus. It was an older building, for an older time, and so there was only one women’s bathroom in the entire building, on the 2nd floor (which was the main entry floor.) That was annoying.

    Redmond will have fireworks on July 9, but not to celebrate Independence Day. We have a long-running community summer festival that always ends with fireworks.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Not always sure how they do it, but there are so darn many fireworks in the area they all shift about so they aren’t all on one night; July 2 has a bunch in the county, Newark’s is the 3rd, someone has ’em the 4th (plus the PBS concert & display). Columbus downtown has “Red, White, and Boom” which is the big deal, but the ones even in a village like ours are 20 minutes and more than I need to absorb pyrotechnically. So I’ve only seen RWB(tm) on TV.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Sue, my mom’s cat is in the same place, only we take her to the vet’s twice a week for the fluids. Today they told us she has lost more weight and they want more tests and an evaluation next Friday. Cue violins.

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  30. Mark P said on July 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    New Mexico has one of the best climates for solar heating. I expect your cabin to be comfortably to uncomfortably warm even on the coldest winter day, as long as the sun is shining. We live in NW Georgia, which does not have a good climate for solar heating — too cloudy in winter. But our house is oriented so that our sliding glass doors face south, and on a sunny winter day, the living room is nicely warm. It’s especially nice to realize that we aren’t paying for the heat.

    Thermal mass has been discussed ever since people started trying to heat with the sun’s rays. I will be interested to hear how well it keeps the cabin warm after the sun sets.

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  31. Deborah said on July 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Mark P, we also have a wood burning stove for the cabin. We got the smallest one we could find. It’s a Norwegian brand called Jotel http://jotul.com/us/products/stoves/jotul-f-602 it’s really cute, we will cook on it too. The lower level of the cabin has a lot of doors and can be mostly opened out. We think it will be too hot way more often than it’s too cold. But we’ll certainly find out.

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  32. brian stouder said on July 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Sherri – I don’t read enough, but love US history in general, and that article made me want to read an LBJ book.

    I’ve read a few Kennedy books (front-of-mind would be Reeves’ book from a few years back, and Chris Matthews had a semi-interesting one) and Woodward’s ‘Last of the president’s Men’ book about Butterfield – and tangentially about Nixon. One lovely little detail, that only lots and lots of digging and interviewing would have ever captured, was about the Christmas holiday after the first year of Nixon’s presidency, when he noticed [after hours] that lots of staffers in the executive office building had Kennedy stuff up in their work areas! The president issued a memo directing people to make that stuff disappear!

    That article about LBJ captured a ‘behind the music’ bit, where the president was informally sharing his thoughts about how they’d lost the south, and what the term “Great Society” means….good stuff!

    That whole concept of ‘mudsills of society’ (LBJ wasn’t quoted using that term in the article, but he described the same thing exactly) was new to me in Heather Cox Richardson’s marvelous book about the history of the Republican party….and LBJ summed up precisely the same dynamic when he talked about giving a white guy someone who is purposely treated as his lesser…and indeed, it is precisely the game that Donald Trump is playing in 2016.

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  33. Deborah said on July 1, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks Nancy, for posting about it and others here for commenting. I realize we probably seem like we’re from Pluto (not even a planet anymore) but I’m used to that. And know that our plans are all pretty much an experiment. We’re pretty excited about it any way.

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  34. Sherri said on July 1, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Sigh. Bill Clinton meets with Loretta Lynch. Every media outlet in sight spends days wringing their hands.

    Trump sends fundraising emails to members of parliament of a half-dozen foreign governments, as does a Trump SuperPAC that isn’t supposed to coordinate with the campaign, says the Mexicans are attacking when a plane flies over during his speech, and tells a woman complaining that military veterans should be working for TSA instead of those people wearing “heebie-jobbies” that he’ll look into that.

    All mentioned in passing. Just Trump being Trump.

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  35. Dexter said on July 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Time to reflect on a man’s life, a man who was nance’s friend, and who graced this blog for a while until…the end. I stumbled onto this while researching for information on the late great Coco Robicheaux, famed New Orleans composer, singer, and musician. I am writing about the very interesting opinionated scholar and professor, and New Orleans legend, the incomparable Ashley Morris.

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  36. Jill said on July 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I’ve loved looking at photos of your place, Deborah. It’s intriguing and appeals to me but I don’t know if I’d have the guts to try it. I hope it ends up being just right for you. Sure is beautiful.

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  37. Dexter said on July 1, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Just a bit disappointed , as every time I went through the channels today all I saw was Pence Pence Pence being ballyhooed as the favored horse in the T. Rump Veep Derby, and I would have bet heavily brianstouder would weigh in here seething and champing at the bit to fill us in on the straight poop. (Or…horse shit)

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  38. alex said on July 1, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    The local media may be talking about Pence, but the national media are sure it’s going to be either Gingrich or Christie. Whaddaya bet he surprises us with Joe Arpaio or Jan Brewer? We should have a contest. Who can come up with the most grotesque veep. And bonus points for a dream team cabinet.

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  39. brian stouder said on July 2, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Contender for most grotesque veep:

    Representative Trey Gowdy http://www.vox.com/2016/7/1/12052022/rep-trey-gowdy-benghazi

    a train-wreck of a human being, but a member of Congress…

    Oxy-Rush H Limbaugh – an even larger train-wreck of a human being, but a ‘communicator’. ‘Course, what he “communicates” is hatred, nativisim, hedonism, intolerance, small-mindedness, and willful ignorance….but he brings money, and would get lots of ‘free media’ as he crashes the Republican party into the fruited plain

    Governor Sarah Palin – she’s more pleasant to look at, and she’d bring intelligence and nuance to the Trump ticket…plus governing experience! (albeit truncated!)

    Ted Nugent – he’d help in Michigan, and he could warm up the campaign crowds with Cat Scratch Fever (etc), before small-handed Donald comes out to strum his instrument…

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  40. Dexter said on July 2, 2016 at 3:02 am

    alex …I can’t even receive any Fort Wayne TV stations (they give us Toledo locals). The Pence onslaught was on msnbc all fucking morning long.

    brian…Trey Gowdy for veep…?…Oh HELL yes! I want to see Christie though. What a circus, no matter who gets the nod. “Hey you? Yeah, you over there…you from Turkey? Yeah? Well? Are you friend or foe?” Hoo boy…that T.Rump….

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  41. Sherri said on July 2, 2016 at 3:09 am

    I don’t know that we can do better than what Trump is considering already. Consider the disHonorable Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, who was too racist to get confirmed for a Federal judgeship, which was probably a bonus in winning a Senate seat in Alabama.

    And is anyone regularly checking on Christie’s mental health state? After selling his soul to Trump, it’s got to sting that Newt Gingrich is being vetted for VP.

    If we really want to go grotesque, though, we could look at Louis Gohmert of Texas, who has made so many stupid statements it’s hard to single out one, but his comments about “terror babies” would fit right in with Trump’s agenda. We can’t forget Michelle Bachmann, either. Steve King of Iowa usually manages to find a way to offend.

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  42. basset said on July 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I don’t have a hometown, or at least not anyplace that feels like one, but I spent my early years in a company town right outside the gate of a naval ordnance factory in southwestern Indiana. Aside from bombs and mines and such, this place made star shells and other aerial explosives… families were let onto the base for a 4th of July show every year, and to a late-50s preschooler like me it was memorable. The shows stopped after awhile, story I heard was that some ensign or j-g walked in front of the firing tube and got killed but I don’t know how true that might be.

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