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The time has come …

the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

Erm. No, actually that’s not the time that has come. My brain just flipped Lewis Carroll-ward when I wrote the subject line. An entirely different time has come.

After 5 years and 4.25 months, the exterior of Ye Olde Wreck no longer reveals any wreckage. The interior, though not cosmetically complete, is entirely livable. Plumbing and electrical are upgraded and working. The roof and foundation are in good shape. The insulation is quietly insulating away. The only thing not close to done is floors, and although I don’t know when those are going to happen, if ever, I’m in no danger of falling through them. And that’s not something I’ve always been able to say about this place.

So … it’s time to adopt the name chosen in a Name That Cottage contest nearly three years ago.

In fact, it’s already done.

In one of yesterday’s photos, ye of very sharp eyes may have noticed a discreet little rectangle on the porch wall. I’d have missed it myself, as I suspect most did. But it was there.

Let’s get a little closer …

Yes, it’s a sign. (Not A capital-S Sign — though I could wish.)

And now up on the porch …

Yes, it is Official (with proper capital-O). Ye Olde Wreck is no more. The cottage you helped me create from the rot, rubble, and rust of Ye Olde Wreck is now Mo Saoirse. Irish for “My Freedom.” It’s pronounced mo SEER-sha (no matter what you’ve heard that actress claim). The name was suggested by Pat, lo those many moons ago.

There is a backup name — Dripping Cedars (adapted from a suggestion by Kent McManigal). And alas, Dripping Cedars is probably the more accurate name, given that the house has three giant cedars around it and they do drip. Constantly. Everything from sap to rain to bird crap. But Mo Saorise is aspirational — a name to live up to.

So that’s it. It’s cap-O Official. And there shall be no more mention of Ye Olde Wreck.


Since somebody’s sure to ask: No, I did not make the sign myself. The pseudonymous Deanna, who owns our pocket-sized liquor store, paints signs for practically nothing during her slow hours. She dashed this off in the time I’d have taken to barely begin fretting about whether I could do the job or whether the background should be green or blue.


  1. free.and.true
    free.and.true September 9, 2018 5:43 am


    And the sign is attractive too.


  2. jed
    jed September 9, 2018 6:08 am

    My hat’s off to you, Claire, for both the perseverance and determination to take on such a project, and stick with it over so much time. Well done!

  3. Joel
    Joel September 9, 2018 6:40 am

    I was going to ask who did the sign.

    Love it! Subdued yet attractive.

    (Though this does revive an observation I’ve occasionally had about how the Irish must have devised their written language while drunk, since nothing is ever spelled remotely the way it sounds.)

  4. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas September 9, 2018 6:51 am

    Congratulations! You and Mo Saoirse? An amazing story. Inspirational.

  5. Shel
    Shel September 9, 2018 8:42 am

    Great sign. I love the “no shirt…” takeoff in it, too. Wonderfully, the more effort you put into something, the more it is yours emotionally. Five years of toil are sure to make virtually every thought about the place extremely satisfying. I know it’s a cliche, but everything about it you enjoy is something you have fully earned.

  6. Patrick Fowler
    Patrick Fowler September 9, 2018 8:58 am

    Nice to see some people are still doing signs with brushes..tell your friend at the store to have a look at my Patreon page…I have been a signpainter for my entire life and am very interested in “coaching” folks on traditional signmaking methods, that will be part of my blog when I get that going…I post a few photos as I get them into my computer. Also there are some on f***book though I am really more interested in blogging about it. Patrick

  7. MP
    MP September 9, 2018 8:59 am

    Congrats, Claire! I have enjoyed watching and been inspired by your steady progress over the years. Your diligence and patience look to be well-rewarded.

  8. DistOne
    DistOne September 9, 2018 9:06 am

    Pat yourself on the back and imagine our heartfelt congratulations. Well done!

  9. Pat
    Pat September 9, 2018 9:45 am

    I saw something there above the basket shelves in the previous blog, but thought no more about it. “Mo saoirse” is nice, like a welcome sign — in spite of the warnings below it. (I doubt if the proselytizers will recognize themselves, though.) The house is really coming together.

    BTW, in Scottish Gaelic, it is spelled “saorsa,” but still pronounced “seer-sha”.

  10. Claire
    Claire September 9, 2018 9:47 am

    Thank you and cheers to you all. I may have persisted because I had no choice. But without your support, my persistence wouldn’t have gotten very far.

    And yep, Joel, I’ve had the same thought about Irish spelling. There’s actually a site somewhere online that explains Irish spelling and attempts to make it seem perfectly rational. Stuff and nonsense, I say. The only thing you can be sure of when encountering an Irish word is that the pronunciation will resemble the spelling only by vague and infrequent coincidence.

    PATRICK FOWLER September 9, 2018 10:31 am

    Thanx Claire …persisting is the best path whether it be a house, raising kids, or now in my life a handicap…I can’t forget my dad’s comments on ” can’t ” he said can’t never did anything ! He said it to me many times in 20 years , I think he had something there…sometime I will blog about this wise but down to earth man, Patrick

  12. patrick fowler
    patrick fowler September 9, 2018 10:38 am

    Claire what do you mean by a capital S sign ? curious…Patrick

  13. Claire
    Claire September 9, 2018 12:57 pm

    “what do you mean by a capital S sign?”

    Oh, not the kind you or any other human could make. I mean a Sign from God. 🙂

  14. ProGunFred
    ProGunFred September 9, 2018 1:12 pm

    I might have went with; “No Revenuers” in place of no proselytizing but I like it.

    Could consider shortening one of the downspouts for a rain catch barrel. People around here do it plenty. One problem is if the north side is facing the road then it’s visible which may indicate somebody who is “being a prepper”, or just somebody that is practical in avoiding city water or somebody who preps and doesn’t know it’s prepping ’cause it’s what grandma did. Anyway, if you do go that route, and the back of the house is in the shade, you might-could stash a rain catch barrel back there.

    Air Force Rule of Threes applies.

  15. Mike
    Mike September 9, 2018 2:55 pm

    I will admit there were times while reading about your adventures in home renovation, when I wondered about your sanity. Now, looking at pictures of your (and the Monk’s) work, I can see that the result is a true work of art. Congratulations Claire, well done.

  16. patrick fowler
    patrick fowler September 9, 2018 3:35 pm

    After a lifetime of signs I have always thought of signs with a small s…learn something every day. S as in SIGNS.

  17. Claire
    Claire September 9, 2018 4:30 pm

    “wondered about your sanity”

    You were not alone in that. 🙂

  18. jc2k
    jc2k September 11, 2018 7:52 pm

    Wow – has it been almost 5 and half years already? Time really flies.

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