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John Duke's Blog Posts Tagged 'floors' (25)

Shines like gold

Work has slowed down on the cabin, letting us gear up for the next phase. Mr. Seals is up in the mountains hunting this weekend, but a few weeks ago Robin invited us over to help him celebrate his birthday ...


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Added by John Duke on November 18, 2012 at 10:33pm — No Comments

Next to godliness

7 more days to go.

We will have a variety of unfamiliar surfaces to attend to once we move into the cabin. Darien has been researching different cleaning solutions that have minimal negative environmental or health side affects. Here is what she has come up with so far.

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Added by John Duke on March 25, 2012 at 5:24pm — No Comments

Bad moon on the rise

I watched Indiana play a few days ago and knew trouble was on the way for VCU. True enough, it was bad times on Saturday night, like seeing earthquakes and lightning and knowing the rivers would overflow and the hurricanes blow. Indiana took the life out of VCU in the NCAA tournament in a heartbreak loss that we could have won. My response?

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Added by John Duke on March 21, 2012 at 1:29am — No Comments

Two bottles closer

I came back from the cabin to find Antonia and Darien taking a break from packing up the house. It seems part of their strategy is to finish off any bottle that had already been opened so we wouldn't have to move it to our new house. They were working on the dregs of a bottle of golden, smokey Mezcal when I…


Added by John Duke on March 11, 2012 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Not fade away

Call it global warming if you like, or maybe climate change, but this has been an odd winter in Richmond. The only real snow of the year started last Sunday midday and came down in wet clumps for hours, sagging telephone wires and tree limbs. As we should have expected, the cabin neighborhood lost power. We've…


Added by John Duke on February 25, 2012 at 12:05am — No Comments

Small places

Every day, it seems, there is more to see in the cabin. Mike has been helping with painting and other things, while Mr. Seals works on framing the windows and doors and on finishing, bringing definition to each small space. He has a base coat of clay on the walls. They are white now, so we have to squint to see their future color. Pale blue paint is going on in the den and russet brown added to the trim on the fireplace…


Added by John Duke on February 17, 2012 at 10:39pm — No Comments

From floor to ceiling

Ryan: "How soon do you want to move in?"

Darien: "Soon. Sometime between the fifteenth and the end of the month."

Ryan: "Of March?"

Darien: "No, of February."

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Added by John Duke on February 8, 2012 at 1:38am — No Comments


I came over on Christmas Eve to check progress at the cabin. Inside was a small bird flying around, a Carolina wren. I think maybe she was testing things out, to see how livable it was. She seemed pretty comfortable, so I think we must be getting close.

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Added by John Duke on January 10, 2012 at 12:57am — No Comments

Hard rain a-fallin'

The rains came hard in Richmond, but the cabin held. Winds gusted up to 65 mph and streets flooded. After twenty minutes of huddling in the Pollack art building to protect me from the ferocious gales and listening to transformers around me blow, I dashed to my car. It took me an hour to wind my way home, trying…


Added by John Duke on December 17, 2011 at 1:15pm — No Comments

Blow wind blow

The hurricane Irene that followed hard on the heel of the Mineral earthquake have kept things interesting for us. Although Irene was no Katrina, it blew in a lot of troubles. After the initial fury of wind and rain, the neighborhood was left devastated. Fallen trees blocked streets, killed electrical lines, and…


Added by John Duke on September 21, 2011 at 10:09pm — No Comments

Swamp on fire

The Dismal Swamp is on fire, sending acrid smoke north as far as Richmond, reminding me of a full-on smog alert in 1965 Los Angeles. They sky feels like purple rain is swallowing the city. Darien and I have fled to Minnesota, hoping the smoke will clear by the time we come home.


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Added by John Duke on August 22, 2011 at 7:22pm — No Comments

Final Floor

The VCU Rams had a great run up to the Final Four, but just couldn't overcome the size of the Butler Bulldogs. All of Richmond stopped to watch the game, and our disappointment in the score is only exceeded by our pride in the team. Both teams were beasts on the floor, playing with all their heart. I think there will…


Added by John Duke on April 3, 2011 at 1:00am — No Comments

Sweet madness

Richmond has been a bit mad lately. If it weren't for the VCU and UR games being played on Friday night, I'm not sure how much work would be getting done on the cabin. We were sad to see the University of Richmond knocked out of the Sweet Sixteen since we were looking forward to giving them a shellacking on Sunday,…


Added by John Duke on March 26, 2011 at 11:26am — No Comments

Wrapped in plastic

The rain came down hard this week, which means the James River is a torrent. Richmond has class IV rapids, unusual in an urban environment. We don't like to pull corpses out of the river and wrap them in plastic, so most people heed the warnings about how dangerous the water can be at this time.




Added by John Duke on March 14, 2011 at 1:00am — No Comments

Cabinet meeting

"No matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting." This may be the only thing Ronald Reagan said that Mr. Seals and I will ever agree on.


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Added by John Duke on March 6, 2011 at 11:44pm — No Comments


We have finally reached the point where the clay is being spread on the walls. The product from American Clay is a lovely shade of earthy green, with deep textured swirls. Fred has been tutoring Mr. Seals on how to apply it. Mr. Seals says his wife Robin wants him to re-paint…


Added by John Duke on February 26, 2011 at 10:14pm — No Comments

Art in windows, music in bamboo

Music and art are keeping my thoughts elevated this weekend. Maybe I was inspired when I looked up to see the hawk perched high in a tree at the cabin Thursday morning. No matter. The theme developed on Friday when Darien and I attended the opening of a major Picasso…


Added by John Duke on February 21, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

The true measure

My father was fond of the truism that one should always measure twice and cut once. He is probably shaking his head at this very moment.


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Added by John Duke on February 4, 2011 at 12:43am — No Comments

Balmy forecast

Now Spring restores the balmy heat, now Zephyr's sweet breezes calm the rage of the equinoctial sky.

Poem 46, Catullus (Roman poet)
I just wanted to let you know it is a balmy 64 degrees in the cabin with the thermostat set at 62.

Phone message, Mr. Seals…

Added by John Duke on January 24, 2011 at 11:16pm — No Comments

Give me the heat

While I was squeezing fresh oranges from my mother's tree for my morning juice in California, Richmond was suffering freezing ice and snow and wind. It was a good time to get serious about the heat.

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Added by John Duke on January 20, 2011 at 1:37am — No Comments

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