Monthly Archives: July 2014



Another short day of vardo as Raven slept in it. She got up early for a Sunday and painted more detail in the cool morning. She actually finished the major detailing of that pattern, all the corners are done, windows and doors. That’s an amazing accomplishment in such fine detail.

I got up a little later and made a bay leaf wreath from the tree out back at my sisters request. Then cooked up a late brunch of bacon, potatoes and scrambled eggs with fresh tiny honeydew melon on the side.

It stayed cool all day, overcast, even rained lightly, marvelous not to be scorched.

Raven wants a shelf for jars of herbs in the vardo, P side behind the window. As I’m building a gate and there are scrap redwood pieces, she laid out a concept.


She wants it rough and funky, I can’t allow it, we’ll have to sand the pieces and fit it tight to make it cleanable and not cause splinters in the customers.

I cooked up a batch of tomato sauce canned, I got two pints from seven pounds plus a couple cups of juice from around the seeds stripped out. It’s really thick sauce, almost paste but not bitter, with one ray of star anise added for 15 minutes to cut the acid. exceptional concentrate.

Raven finally put up the candelabras on the back wall, they look great with one for soap above the hand sink.



Raven had to leave early as Lorean’s memorial is today up at Isis Oasis. I only knew her in passing, but a good person and founder of the retreat.

I finished belt sanding the last eleven boards for the gate. My arms are jello tired. Kit my neighbor pulled up, backed up in a big truck, got out with a fat peach, opened the side door and grabbed a hat full of huge black berries. “take a couple, they’re the best!”, he’s right, huge and so sweet. As he drove off I chomped into the peach, Oh my, aahh, so good! Wonderful day.






Man I’m tired, been sanding redwood all afternoon with the belt sander as I’m making a gate for Elliot, my sisters partner. Four and a half hours belt sanding. Eleven more boards to go, the tall upright slats, I’ll finish them tomorrow, then resume with the fun of actually building it.
Raven is here today, she had planned on going camping but that canceled last minute. We hit the Healdsburg Farmers Market this morning, I picked up seven pounds of Roma tomatoes for canning, I’ll do that tomorrow morning while it’s cool, a thick sauce with a touch of star anise for fifteen minutes, enough to cut the acid. Raven picked up carrots and onions. Me a small breakfast melon.
I made up a double batch of not hot curry powder as I’m going home to Michigan this next week, spices to share.
Lunch was good, broiled chicken with above curry powder, oyster sauce and garlic powder marinade, rice, one of the tomatoes and some special chutney Raven made of elderberries, apple and other stuff, very tasty. The yellow jackets thought so too.
She did quite a bit of vardo work, finishing installing the blocks to secure the benches for the road, as well as putting up a curtain in front of the refrigerator.
fridge cover bedskirty
She even went online and filled out the paperwork for a sellers permit, that’s major.
She’s off to the movies now, “Malificent” with Angelina Jolie, while  I recuperate and write this.


I met Raven at Bucky’s for coffee and we headed to the farmers market. Once around to look, but wait, they have a bag of flowered gherkins at the last stall, score at 3.5 pounds. I’ll process them tomorrow morning as cornichons before it gets hot, though I just finished cleaning and salting them for over night. We picked up a couple ears of corn to go with the chicken and headed home.
I picked my first garden wax beans to mix with the O green beans from TJ’s. I fired up the charcoal grill, put away the harvested garlic and parsley seeds, cleaned the outside table then prepped lunch. Steamed beans, BBQ chicken and sweet corn husk on, both cooked on the grill. The corn was so sweet the wasps ignored the chicken and went for the husks, perfect.
Raven worked on the fridge belt as I sanded the gate arches, three clamped together (wide narrow wide) belt sanded flush on edges. I then sanded the faces of the outer wide boards. They will be cut to 45 inches but they’re arches, to be laid out a foot high to center.
Raven split a button, I stopped and turned another one in walnut on the lathe using the same stock, pretty quick, she sanded it to size and installed the belt, punching the ends and cutting a slit to allow the belt to fit the screwed button to the shelf frames.
This will hold the fridge in on the road.
Meanwhile, I cut the 2.5″ wide gate slats to 48 inches, qty 14 to allow for the upper gaps. Next I cut qty 4 wide planks to 45 inches for the cross beams (oops I’ll need 4 more).
Time to lay it out in the driveway. It’s really getting hot in the sun, but I need the measurements. It’s going to work, the pics don’t allow the edge inner board that will be full width but trimmed on top for a gap (another upper gap moving the tall out).
I marked all the long boards for length and cut them, then transferred the measurements and cut another set for the other gate, all done on the band saw. I still need to cut the measured arcs to length.
Raven cut and sanded then drilled and screwed the blocks to hold the benches in place on the road. One side done, but a split piece, more to do.
We’re really close to road worthy at least to the corner scale. Once we know that we can determine whether we need brakes.
This gate is coming along, though much to do. Sanding and prep on all the faces, filling several gaps on the glue lines. More to do tomorrow but a lot done today.