Sunrises…They Never Get Old

Greene Cottage Afloat On a Sea of Grass

This is a shot of Greene Cottage afloat on a sea of grass that surrounds her.

The cottage is also sporting her new rocking chairs, a couple of yard sale beauties that were picked up a couple of years ago in near by Cape Charles VA.

These rockers are perfect for sitting and thinking big thoughts, especially at sunrise and sunset.

The shotgun style of the Greene Cottage is great for northerly or southerly breezes as they create a wonderful cross current that keeps the little house cool even on the hottest of days.

Magic Technology That Changed My Life

 

This is a picture of the omni directional high gain antenna that came with my Wilson Electronics DB pro cellular signal magically delicious signal booster.

I live and work in an area that is blessed with beautiful sunrises, sunsets and lovely open water views, but plagued by poor cell coverage. This is a fact that I have lived with for the last five plus years.  There are spots in my house, as well as on the farm where I live that would, on occasion, get great cell coverage.  When working from home I would routinely sprint from spot to spot to try to keep a call from dropping.  Climbing on fences, outdoor furniture and other ridiculous antics were common place.

NO MORE.  This Sunday my brother in law assisted me as I climbed 40 feet to the highest peak on the property and attached my new Starship Enterprise Antenna to the  chimney.

We connected the cables as the easy to understand instructions illustrated, plugged in the booster, connected the indoor panel antenna and like magic, I am getting max bars on both my Sprint air card and my ATT Cell phone!

Life has now changed for me.  Thank you Wilson Electronics!

Disclaimer:  The way this magic works is it pulls the available signal in that already exists.  We live in a very flat place and my home was blocked by trees, barns, and other obstructions.  Putting the Starship Enterprise Antennae 40 feet in the air is what allows me to get the signal that I do.  While magic for me, it may or may not work for you.  The magic can only amplify what you are already getting at 40 feet, or 20, or 200.  If there ain’t nothing to amplify the magic won’t work for you.

 

A note I wrote to myself in Jan 2011

Strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, quickness.  When you have these things or are these things, you are ready when the call comes to:

Hop on a freighter to panama for a week long  kite boarding session

Try some new crazy sport

Compete in a pickup anything game

You are ready for anything.

If however you are weak, tire easily, stiff, awkward, and slow you are ready for absolutely nothing.

Get off your ass and get strong

 

Inspiration

The Inspiration for Greene Cottage came from Pear Valley.  Pear Valley is a very old little house in Northampton County Virginia http://preservationvirginia.org/pearvalley/

Pear Valley is dated to about 1740 which makes it one of the oldest buildings of its kind in VA.

Pear Valley was the home of a fairly wealthy planter and his family.  By today’s standards, Pear Valley is about as modest a family home as one could imagine.  It was built of all local materials, probably from trees that stood within a few hundred feet of it.  Brick was perhaps the most technologically sophisticated material used in the construction.

Pear Valley was the model we used to create Greene Cottage.  Greene Cottage is my interpretation of Pear Valley and is not in anyway an exact copy…Just an inspiration.

 


As Promised…More Pics

Comfortable Equals Complacent

For the last four years or so I have enjoyed the most off the hook office experience of my life.  I have been using an office in Eastville Virginia that, on a bad day, could be found any design magazine (my cheesy cell phone pics don’t do it justice)  Custom mosaic tile bath room, artisan trim throughout, Viking stainless steel kitchenette, polished cherry floors, custom window treatments, natural grass wall coverings, massive flat panel TV with satellite for every channel known to man, framed and matted artwork, and furniture (except for my lame flea market desk) that probably went for more than my car.  Oh, and did I mention that I also have a lovely little covered sitting porch with nice furniture as well.

The place just rocks and it doesn’t cost much, about as much as a 10×12 office in some generic shared office facility.

I just told my landlord that I was not coming back after April and that I would be removing my lame flea market desk.  Why on earth would I do this? (Given where I am sitting right now I am questioning the wisdom of the decision myself)

The reason I have left the office that would make Richard Branson blush is that I loved it too much, it had become way too comfortable and it was making it way too easy to procrastinate on two very important projects that desperately need my energy and attention.

In order to force myself to focus on those projects and complete them I have moved into them!

I am presently sitting in an upstairs bedroom of project number one.  The Ferry House.  The Ferry House was built sometime around 1760.  That is not a typo.  The house I am sitting in was built sometime around 1760.  Most of it is original and it had been very much neglected, but not so much that it could not be brought back.  With much love and attention to detail the Ferry House has a new cedar roof, rebuilt dormers, and is pretty much ready to be put back together. Photos and other information of interest about the Ferry House can soon be found at http://www.chesapeake-farm.com Trouble was, I was so freakin comfortable driving past the little Ferry House on my way to Shangri-La that I was not focused on it, at least not enough.  Well I am now!  I look at and work inside the project all day long when I am not traveling!

Project number two is Greene Cottage. http://www.greenecottage.com Greene Cottage is a prototype of a small portable house that I designed and built with my good friend and carpenter/artist Scott Sims.  Scott finished the Cottage almost a year ago and I have been happily storing my surfboards, kite boarding gear, camping gear, and anything else that needed a good place to be stored.  This was not the original plan, but my championship ability to not finish a project and that sneaky comfort has enabled me to not focus on the true purpose of the project.  Greene Cottage is a work of carpentry art.  It now has a brilliant new white coat of paint courtesy of Lynwood Drummond and is soon to house the World Manquarters of a newly hatched business that I am starting. (Watch for details on this shortly)  While the Manquarters is not going to hold a candle to Richard-Bransonville, it will be completely designed by me with my tastes and sensibilities and, I am guessing, it will be much closer to my version of the perfect man cave/creative oasis. Since this project was completely and entirely hatched from my imagination, I will probably allow myself to be very comfortable with it…for just a little while.

Too much comfort deadens my soul.  I need the push of discomfort to drive me to ship…and ship is exactly what I am doing.

 

Storm Clouds Gather Over Greene Cottage

Last night just as the sun was setting and a nasty thunderstorm was passing through, I caught this shot of the Greene Cottage proudly sporting her new white coat.  There is just something about living where we do in Northampton County Va. that gets you tuned into weather.  I don’t know if it is living on Chesapeake Bay or the water in general, but you just notice the weather more.   Perhaps it’s that you can see it coming for miles and miles, or maybe it is the changes in temperature and color that become more noticeable.

Anyway, I thought that this shot showed off Greene Cottages new colors really well.  The contrast between green spring grasses, the dark browns of the wet cedar roof, against the menacing grays of the sky and water.  I liked it.  Hope you do too.

 

Greene Cottage Goes White

The original Greene Cottage was allowed to age naturally for about a year.  Now that the building has had a chance to settle and do its natural movement we have begun to apply a protective coat of white stain.  This will serve to protect the wood from the harsh marine environment where it presently lives as well as have it be one with its other Northampton Co. brothers and sisters. (I think 75% of the historic homes on the shore are white)

The craftsman applying the fresh coat is a gentleman we have done other historic paint work with, Lynwood Drummond.  Lynwood is a wonderful guy, does outstanding work, and is fun to work with.  Lynwood painted all our barns including a civil war era structure that recently had some major restoration perfomed by our master carpenter/friend/ and collegue Scott Sims.

I will be sure to include some updated shots of the newly white Greene Cottage when it is completed.

 

Reckless Abandon

The most interesting stuff I have been involved with and have done in my adult life has all been pursued with Reckless Abandon.  I just rushed in, hair on fire, terrified, not knowing what was going to happen but determined to make something happen.

-Courting the woman that would become my wife (Suzanne):  didn’t have a clue what I was getting into just knew that I had to do it.

-My first job in technology:  had zero idea what I was getting into learned everything I needed to know in a 30 min. conversation with a guy at his kitchen table who’s used car I was buying.  (I looked around at his giant house, pictures of his smoking hot wife, his beautiful kids and the car he was driving to replace the one I was buying.  I drew a quick conclusion at 22 that what he was doing was what I needed to do and I did it)

-Raising three children: (are you kidding…no clue)

-Buying giant things like tracts of land, houses, insane investments (It just felt like the right thing to do and it was)

As I have gotten older I occasionally have wafts of absolute terror where, for a few moments I let myself dwell on all the things that could go wrong with the Reckless Abandon strategy and it seriously freaks me out.  I then reflect on all the great things that have come from throwing caution to the wind, lighting my hair on fire, and going for it.

There have been failures and defeats but the wins and the successes and the shear joy of it all make for an adventurous life indeed.

I think I will stick with the strategy, terror and all.


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