LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL - June 2018
Little Bluff Journal June 30 - almost cool and quiet at dawn - HAPPY WEEKEND!
Print Of The Week special (above)
Journal updated June 25
06/01/18 May went out and June arrived with a BANG! We had a lightning strike within a few hundred feet of the gallery and our RV. My bride had just installed a app yesterday that reports local lightning strikes, and a few seconds after we were blasted from deep sleep, her phone dinged with a message that a strike had just happened "within 1/10 mile of your position." NO KIDDING! Can't believe they have the technology that can pinpoint an individual lightning strike like that.
A while later Pam found Wilson outside wandering around in the pouring rain - the front door of the gallery had somehow been blown open (no damage to the door - the pups have been sleeping inside the gallery). He was shaken and soaked to the bone, but OK.
This morning we discovered that anything connected to the phone line inside the gallery had been destroyed. We always unplug our computers when bad weather approaches, so didn't lose anything computer-related. We do have a whole-house surge protector on the power company box outside the building, but we never think to isolate the phone line. Over the years phone line lightning strikes have destroyed much more equipment than power line strikes. PROTECT YOUR PHONE LINES if you still have a land line! We must keep a land line since so many of the items are not available as wireless yet.
We did get a good bit of rainfall out of this, which is great! Happy June.....
06/03/18 cool and beautiful at dawn today!
06/04/18 The lightning damage was worse than we thought. The phone company was here for several hours and replaced all the burned-up-melted phone company equipment and wire from end to end. They think the building took a direct hit. All items connected by ethernet cables were destroyed, including our giant color printer that creates all the big canvas prints on the walls*. Insurance won't really cover any of this so it will all be out of our pockets. Bummer. Good news is I'll be getting a new 371# printer! (Anyone want a slightly damaged printer, or want to help move in the new one? Ha, ha.)
*The most frequent question we get at our galley is "Where do you have your canvas prints printed and stretched?" With the exception of a time when I was physically unable to do so (epic hero Fireman Jason Weaver stepped in to do this job for months for me - his stretching jobs were amazing!), I've always done all the printing and stretching myself, for more than ten years no (my bride helps put the frame together). So everything is done right here in the print room that is part of the gallery - you are always welcome to have a look at the machines and process any time you visit.
Our local rock crew (Lindsey Shelnut and Gary and son) completed work on the fireplace in the great room Friday - very simple/functional materials and design with a small firebox - but I believe the guys did a wonderful job and it's just perfect! The main building crew worked all weekend and made significant progress inside the great room each day for the past several, and it is like stepping into a new place each time we visit. That big room is crammed full of boxed cabinets and stacks of wood flooring, and sometimes I'll just sit back in a corner and look around in amazement.
We had a stretch of brutal heat and humidity this past week, but yesterday and today have been just DELIGHTFUL outside - in the forest - along our lane - and everywhere! Low humidity and cool temps - it was 58 degrees this morning - only a high of 82 yesterday afternoon. It's been the very worst tick season by a long shot, but they have abated a bit - at least for a few days. I LOVE hiking around at the edges of day when the light and the air are sweeter. I know summers here can be miserable, but if you get the chance to wander around during those edges of the day your soul and spirit will soar and the rest of your day may be sweeter too....
06/11/18 The Milky Way rising as seen from our back deck last night:
And our new printer arrives by Pony Express (387 pounds) - now if I can only get it out of that box and inside the print room!
06/14/18 Just a quick update before I head out into the night in search of the Milky Way. We've had an interesting week here, which included my main business computer finally giving up the ghost - after nine years of service. I have a new one but it will be next week before I'm able to get it up and running. The giant canvas printer that got toasted by the storm a couple of weeks ago arrived by semi-truck and then by pickup truck and then with a forklift and is not all set up and ready to print - once I get the new computer running.
Our e-mail was out for three days and night this week, and it continues to be sketchy (in fact it is not working right now). If you sent us an e-mail and have not heard back, please re-send. It didn't mess up any of our online store business and my bride has been able to keep up with all of that OK.
It has been hot and very humid, but not too bad inside the cabin where they've been installing the wooden floors throughout. They are done with the cabin and tomorrow will put flooring down in Pam's studio. The big construction crew will be back tomorrow and get a lot done in the next several days - mostly inside work. We have all the kitchen appliances on hand so hopefully those will get setup soon.
Lots of mint in bloom right now, like this Bee Balm/Horsemint
06/17/18 Star trails in the Grand Prairie Natural Area in southwest Arkansas early this morning -
06/19/18 - star trails and fireflies at Big Bluff this morning (below) -
06/20/18 - more star trails and fireflies at Big Bluff this morning (below) -
06/21/18 We discovered SUNFLOWERS below the cabin (BELOW), along with some nice wildflowers - HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!
06/22/18 Sunrise while on my way home from taking pictures all night (below) -
06/24/18 - we've got lights!
06/25/18 Today IS the first day of the rest of our lives! Soft breezes blew through our bedroom window and brought with it music of wind in the pines and song birds waking up to greet the day. A peach sky turned red and orange as sunrise approached. There were smiles all around, inside and out. We only have one piece of furniture in our new cabin, but it was the guest bed we set up yesterday, and my lovely bride and I kind of "moved in" last night and spent our very first night at the cabin. It has been more than two very long and grueling years since a real estate consultant yelled at us that YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE ANY MORE!!! when we put Cloudland up for sale, and we've been depressed and miserable ever since. (Even though it would be a year and a half later before we moved from Cloudland, it never felt like home to us after that, such a shame.)
The inside of the new cabin is about 95% complete, the outside about 90%. Funny, but while we have two bathrooms in the cabin and one in Pam's studio, not one of them is complete. The guest bath is done but doesn't have hot water. The master bath has hot water but no shower (NO ONE around here wants to put tile in a shower!). The bathroom in Pam's studio has hot water and a shower but the toilet arrived broken. But we are ALMOST up to 100% inside, and hope to be there in another couple of weeks.
In the meantime, it is GREAT to wake up and put our feet down on the floor of our new home. There's no place like home...
Historical note - we don't have counter space for a coffee maker in our new cabin, but we do have a Keurig machine built into the door of our new refrigerator. And the first cup goes to our daughter, Amber -
06/27/18 Beautiful colors at dawn...