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Slushy Sunday Shadow

Pie cozying down in her shelter. That’s Cracker’s looming shadow.

Howdy Sunday. Julia and I woke to a light snowfall this morning. By noon, temps were in the mid-forties and it was all melting away. Here are few pics I thought you’d enjoy.

The morning as it started. This is the view off our front porch, over the hay pasture where the horses graze. It’s too wet to turn them out today but tomorrow they’ll get a few hours’ turnout.… Continue reading

I am Heart Broken

Today protestors stormed the Capitol Building. I see images of bearded men waving flags and clubs and security forces with guns drawn. I am heartbroken.

I have walked to the four borders of my beloved United States with my mules, from Atlantic to Pacific Oceans and from Canada to Mexico. I was helped out by hundreds of people whose political views I agreed with and just as many that I did not.

Cowboys praying (Hyannis, Nebraska / Julia Carpenter photo)… Continue reading

Have a Good Last Day of 2020

The last day of 2020 from where I’m writing you: the critters are (L-R) Pie (lying down on the front lawn), Polly, Snookie resting on his blanket, Brick grazing and Cracker staring off in to space.

I just wanted to wish you a good last day of 2020. I know it’s been a bumpy year but I wanted my last memory to be a good one. Looking out the cabin, this is what I saw. Let’s hope the coming year… Continue reading

Pie in the Cart

Giddy-up! Julia’s pony Pie stepping out nicely in her harness. Today was our first day taking her out for a spin on the road. Normally, I would like to drive with a looser rein but Pie had a head of steam on and I had my hands full keeping her from breaking in to a canter. You go girl!

Just too nice a day to sit inside today so we hooked Pie to the cart and took her for a… Continue reading

Christmas Greetings

Snookie ponders his reason for the season

Merry Christmas from the homestead up the holler. “I’ll be Home For Christmas” is playing (the Bing Crosby version), the wood stove is glowing and Snookie is pondering another cookie. “I’ll be Home for Christmas” rings true this year, just not in original way it was meant (it was written from the point of view of a WWII soldier stationed abroad). With Covid numbers spiking, my wife Julia and I are hunkering down… Continue reading

Brother Sister Dory Story

Siblings don’t usually live together on a 23 foot open boat. In winter. During a pandemic. But that’s what I recently wrote a story about for TownDock.net.

I’ve written a lot for them over the years, from a fifty-foot cruiser with pizza pan portholes to a sticky-fingered Frenchman on a boat called Primadonna. You can read the most recent story right here.

Evan and Ariana Alexay and Cod: the brother, sister and boat I recently wrote… Continue reading

Waiting for the Tumbleweed Connection

“Did you ever hear back from the tumbleweeds you launched?” I get that question a lot, especially from folks that have watched the “Lost Sea Expedition”, the Public TV series about my mule voyage across America (which you can stream here on Amazon).

Mule Polly and me launching a tumbleweed from the Lost Sea Expedition wagon (outside Keyes, Oklahoma)

Okay, let me set this up for you a bit.

The Lost Sea Expedition

The “Lost Sea Expedition”… Continue reading

Pickle Raft Crushed, Rebuilt and Refloated

Crunch! Last winter a tree crushed our beloved Pickle Raft. This week, we rebuilt it. Here’s a quick (30-sec) video of how that went followed by some pics.

Introducing the Pickle Raft

A few years ago, my wife Julia and I assembled what looked like a patio on top of a bunch of plastic barrels and pushed it in to our pond.

We christened it the Pickle Raft and life was good.

Building the raft. We scored the barrels on… Continue reading

The Three Dollar Ocean: Rebuilding a Katadyn Survivor 35 Desalinator

The email came from the Falkland Islands. “Do you have advice and information about watermakers?” It was from my friends, sailors Thies Matzen and and Kicki Ericson.

Thies and Kicki and me in Whangarei, New Zealand. I’m on the left in wide-brimmed hat. Thies and Kicki’s sailboat Wanderer III, is under the tarp on the right. (Circa 2001)

I met Thies and Kicki in Auckland, New Zealand in 2000 where I was rebuilding my sailboat Sea Bird. They were doing… Continue reading

Sunflower Sunday Morning

Our kitchen windowsill: peach pits, sunflower and teapot.

It’s been a good sunflower and peach year here in western North Carolina. Last week we were enjoying Taylorsville peaches from 20 miles away. This week, it’s Kings Mountain peaches from a wee bit farther afield.

I’m a big fan of saving good pits and seeds. Right now the fridge is full of baggies filled with the season’s best peaches. Others go on the windowsill until I put them in a paper… Continue reading

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