The Challenges of Saving Lighthouses

This is reposted from Swallowtail Keepers Society blog. The blog is abandoned but the post is worth saving. Far more involved with saving lighthouses than I would have thought. (I did think about the weathering).

Lighthouses are usually located in the face of storms, exposed on several sides to strong winds and sea spray, frequently difficult to get to and challenging to maintain. With lighthouses de-staffed or de-commissioned, budget cuts rampant, and maintenance minimal, it is hard to see these once well-maintained structures deteriorate to a point that they begin to crumble but it is becoming all too common. The magnitude of the maintenance or restoration, and the ability to get to the lighthouse is often overwhelming. We have been fortunate with Swallow Tail that ownership has been transferred, access is challenging but better than many, and through the support of the community and access to various sources of funding, restoration work has been possible.

Unfortunately, in five months, three other lighthouses in the Maritimes have disappeared. Two collapsed during storms, the abandoned Fish Fluke Point on Ross Island decommissioned in 1963 but defied gravity for years (November), and Church Point on St. Mary’s Bay, NS, decommissioned in 1984 (March), and one burned to the ground, the remote fibreglass lighthouse at Point Aconi on Cape Breton Island (February). Fire was always a worry before lights were electrified. Elodie Foster, one of the light keepers at Swallow Tail, died from her injuries after her clothes caught fire while trying to start the burner for the light. More recently, electrical issues may be the cause of some fires because of the heavy salt presence and corrosion of electrical connections. Two electrical issues at Swallow Tail threatened to cause fires last fall and had no one been working in the lighthouse, the problems would have gone unnoticed until it was too late. Vandalism has also been a cause of some fires and has plagued locations such as Partridge Island in Saint John, and may have been the cause of the grass fire at Swallow Tail in April, 2007, which threatened the lighthouse and keepers house. It has prompted some communities to install security cameras. The ones at Swallow Tail can be viewed on the Village of Grand Manan website (www.villageofgrandmanan.com).

Fish Fluke Point lighthouse in better days.  (unknown origin of photo)

Collapsed Fish Fluke Point lighthouse as seen from the air in November 2013.

Church Point lighthouse before collapse. (from CBC.ca)

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Church Point lighthouse after collapse, 27 March 2014. (from CBC.ca)

Point Aconi lighthouse before it and the building beside it, burned to the ground in February, 2014. (from Cape Breton Post)

Collapse was not thought to be an issue at Swallow Tail but once work began last fall, it became apparent that it could have been possible. The lime had eroded out of the mortar, making the mortar crumble. The stone foundation was slowly pancaking, with the stones being pushed outward. The eight guy wires and the massive concrete floor in the equipment room were the only things holding the tower upright with probably only five large stones in the foundation carrying weight. Had any of the guy wires failed, the tower would have begun listing or worse. To fix this, all the stones were removed, one side at a time, and then returned with new mortar between the joints. The large corner stones, too heavy to easily lift, were adjusted back into place. The foundation is now functional again and should last for many more years with minimal maintenance.
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Peter Devine rebuilding stone foundation at Swallow Tail, September 2013.

During this process, it was discovered that the large wooden beam under the front door had completely rotted away. The remains of the beam were removed using a dust pan. Instead of trying to fit a new wooden beam back in a very tight space between the large immovable concrete step, stone foundation and the floor joists, a concrete beam was constructed. One of the 1859 wooden pegs, used to hold the heavy timber structure together, was discovered in the crawl space during the work, looking the same as the day it was made. This was the only spot were the heavy timbers of the lighthouse had completely rotted.

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Rotted timber beam under front entrance, September 2013

New concrete beam to replace rotted timber, September 2013.

Salt corrosion is another challenge, rusting nails so they no longer do their job. When some shingles were removed on the northern side of the bell house, the boards underneath came off as well. This was also an earlier problem with the boathouse and the entire southern wall began to fall off in large pieces as the nails disappeared and that wall had to be rebuilt. The shingles were stripped off the bellhouse, the boards renailed, and new shingles returned. Shingles on some sides of the tower were also falling out because the nails were gone. Face nailing to hold them in place during previous work only complicated the problem with water getting behind the shingles and rotting the wood. Several places on the tower, notably where the windows had been boarded up, were in worse shape than the rest of the lighthouse, even though the boards were only 40 years old compared to over 150. As the rot continued, longer nails were used to hold the shingles which further exacerbated the problem. It was very noticeable while scraping the sides where the problems were located because of the sponginess. Replacing the rotted wood and shingles where required, caulking the nail heads, plus one to two coats of primer and two coats of finish paint will prevent this for a few years. Because of the extreme weather conditions experienced on the point we hope in the future only the paint will suffer and not the wood behind.

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Northern wall of the bell house.  The nails had rusted off and the boards had to be nailed back in place before the shingles could be attached.

Areas on the lighthouse that needed repair because of water penetration causing rot.  The area around the fog horn was because of caulking and flashing failures.  The upper area on the tower was probably because of face nailing shingles allowing water to penetrate.

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Custom blade on paint scraper.

The entire lighthouse and bell house were scraped, primed and received two coats of paint.  The new shingles were primed twice.

Removing the windows in the tower in the 1970s was actually beneficial in many respects since there was little maintenance after the lighthouse was destaffed, but it changed the interior with no natural light or ventilation. Having the opportunity to return the windows to the original locations in the lighthouse was a goal during the restoration but a challenge since everything had to be built from scratch. One window could not be returned because the current fog equipment is located in that spot on the first floor. Windows from an 1849 house in Ontario were donated by the owners, who had once worked at a lighthouse in British Columbia. They were honoured to have them reused at Swallow Tail. The storms and gablets (or dormers) were new construction from mahogany with copper flashing and sills in an attempt to resist the harsh climate. The interior has been completely changed with the additional of natural light and makes it a very pleasant inside.

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Reglazing 1849 windows donated for the lighthouse.  The bottoms had to be cut down to 8 from 12 panes.  New glass was installed in each window.

Window unit – gablet with storm, all new construction.

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Windows restored on the southern side of the lighthouse.

The harsh winter weather stopped work in mid-December at the lighthouse. Work will begin again sometime in April. The windows and interior will be completed including repairing the lathe and plaster and painting, the boardwalk from the keepers house (cabled in place to protect it from the strong winds) will be built, and museum displays installed. We are hoping to have the lighthouse open again this summer. Restoration work could not have been possible without the financial assistance of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Regional Development Corporation, New Brunswick Built Heritage, Village of Grand Manan, Grand Manan Rotary Club, and generous donations.

Celebrating Tiny Houses

I would especially like a tiny house and a tiny car. Otherwise known as a micro house and micro car. What other things have been trending as micro or tiny? Computers of course. But, I’m not a fan of smaller screens. I like to be able to see what I’m doing.toptinyhomes

Join Gizmag as we give a big thumbs up to ten of the most attractive, innovative, and downright interesting tiny houses we’ve come across in the past 12 months.

Source: Thinking small: Celebrating the very best in tiny houses

Fun with Domestic Discipline!

I fixed the door lock/ handle on the front door today. Feeling pretty good about figuring it out and actually getting it put together and fully functional again. Started me thinking about women doing home repairs and that led to thoughts about domestic discipline. I’d really like to find a man who does dishes, house cleaning, without complaining or expecting it is “women’s work”. Beyond the kinky stuff, I think a man who does dishes and etc would be a stronger type of person, someone capable, who makes his own decisions.

Pretty pink soap even! I like the apron idea more as fashion than feminization. But, pretty pink soap would be more about teasing him.

Introduction to Light Bondage

How to Dom with Light Bondage

  • Restraints
  • Sensual Deprivation
  • Discipline
  • Safety

Restraints

Restraints are rope, cuffs, etc. Start with something you can easily work with, safely. You want your submissive to be able to get out of the bondage quickly if things suddenly become too intense. Also, you don’t want to start out making a lot of fancy knots then discover you can’t get them all undone again. Any restraint used must be tested before you start using it as bondage.

Restraints don’t have to be physical. Mental bondage is a lovely thing and great for beginners. You have the power to control your submissive – knowing his bondage is not enforced by anything but his own decision to obey. There is more power in a submissive obedient by choice rather than ropes, chains, leather, etc.

Sensual Deprivation

Sensual deprivation is an element of bondage. Blindfolds are less complicated than some methods which include a full hood over the head. Also, a blindfold is simple for beginners to use and experiment with. Don’t take away more than one of the five senses at a time (for a beginner in bondage). Keep it fun rather than making them go from nervous and uncertain to actually being afraid.

Think of sensual deprivation as the element of surprise. Use it to tease and give your submissive less control. Build suspense and anticipation. While using a blindfold, narrate everything you are doing or plan to do. While they are in restraints you have taken away their ability to use their hands. A blindfold limits what they can see so they strain a little to use the senses they have left. Make sure you use as many senses as you can when you deprive them of one, or more.

Discipline

Discipline includes spanking but is not limited to just that. Discipline can be a punishment. Discipline can be a set of rules or standards to be kept by the submissive. There is a lot you can do with discipline as mental and physical bondage.

You may have heard of domestic discipline. Spanking is usually included with this. The submissive is treated like a child or dog being trained. They are expected to perform tasks, mainly house cleaning. They may be expected to wear aprons.

The Gor books by John Norman inspired another branch of kinkiness which follows a strict discipline and set or orders. Lesser known are the books by Sharon Green who wrote a female Dom series set on other planets involving men and women being taken from Earth. I especially like her books myself.

Safety

Safety matters. I’m not making it first on my list but it should always be part of your considerations and planning. Anything you bring into play during your bondage should be tested out and practiced with. You don’t want to struggle with toys, tools or feel incompetent in the heat of the moment when you are both wound up.

Safety includes some time afterwards, to wind down, get feedback and care for your submissive: aftercare. Don’t skip aftercare. This time is good for the submissive to feel cared for, literally. The Dom also needs this time to wind down, release emotions and reconnect with their partner.

Sexy Scavenger Hunt

Something to do on a long, rainy weekend together?

Simple to just write out a list where each number rolled is something sensual. For instance:

  1. a tickle
  2. kiss on the cheek
  3. nipple licking
  4. a compliment
  5. barely there touch
  6. kiss on the lips
  7. a long hug
  8. light spanking
  9. a slow dance
  10. strip tease
  11. back rub
  12. ice cubes

These are just my ideas to get you started. Fill in your own favourite things. (Write down where you hid things should you get distracted and forget later).

Select 12 items to hide around the house unbeknownst to one another and write out your clues. As each one of you find a clue you take a roll of the dice and do the roll, says Beauregard. The possibility of 24 acts of love and lust minimum, what thrill and this does not take into account any of the main events.

12 Ways To Bring The Sexy Back To Your Relationship | YourTango.

Beginners Guide for Becoming a Male Submissive

The BDSM experience is different for men and women, in several ways. Women are more careful about meeting men. Women may be looking for romance and affection, a relationship while men really just want sex. Women tend to get pushed into things they really don’t want to do, in order to keep the peace.

I often read people (men) claiming women into Domming are rare. In my experience this is not true. I encounter many women who would enjoy Domming men, if they could find one who meets their needs.

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Being a male submissive may not be what you think it is at all

There are very few men who understand what a Dom woman is looking for, what she actually wants. She does not want to be the Dom you see in pornography. If you are looking for a woman to fulfill all your porno fantasies of what male submission should be… pay for it. Professional sex workers will dress the part and read from whatever script you want, do it your way (as long as safety is considered) and give you what you want as you expect to have it.

Real women who Dom, just because they want to, will want to do things their own way. Real women Doms have their own fantasies, their own desires and plans for play, teasing, romance, seduction, torment and all their own fetishes and kinks. They will want you to please them and that may not include any of the fetishes and kinks you have been fantasizing about.

A real woman may not want a man slobbering on her shoes or expecting to wear her underwear, for instance.  Some women may like the idea of training men to submit while others think they should already be house broken.

Worship and begging may not appeal to her. For myself, both of these are a turn off. The real appeal of having a male submissive is that he be a man, strong, clever, manly and yet my submissive. Retain your dignity and be a male submissive worth having and keeping.

Before you Begin…

Decide if you actually want the reality.

Do you want a woman telling you what to do? Are you willing to be disappointed when she isn’t interested in doing what you want, the way you want it? Will you let her lead or will you try to pressure her into giving you what you want instead?

Do not manipulate your Dom. Yes, it is fun to have the erotic play of teasing, denial, struggling and so on… but it should be sincerely part of the fun and not “topping from the bottom”. Two people sincerely invested in D/s can have a lot of fun, pleasure and explorations. If you top from the bottom (manipulate your Dom) you cheat yourself from ever having the real experience of submitting, serving and discovering the pleasure of being a male submissive in reality.

Also, no Dom woman likes to be manipulated. We get this from almost every so-called male sub on dating sites and etc. It is very discouraging. If you wonder why there are so few women into Domming – this would be the number one reason.

If you can’t let go of your expectations then consider paying for what you want and getting it from a McDomme (paid to do it your way).

What are you really willing to do?

Too many men have a list of fetish and kink ideas but no thoughts about the reality. This is especially a bad idea when it comes to health and safety. There are several things which will sound good on paper or turn you on when you watch a video… but reality is not like that. Reality is messier, reality is less planned and professional, less perfect and reality has accidents and misunderstandings.

Never say you are willing to do anything/ everything. Because you aren’t. No one is – unless it’s make believe and pretend.

Read about the reality of your fetishes and kinks. Instead of watching the porn find someone who really has done it and read about their experience. What went wrong, what didn’t work and how did they learn to do it better or another way. Research the reality. Even if you have no experience you can read the experience of others (just not the porn version).

Consider safety and be practical about it

If you have issues such as allergies, a phobia, dislikes put together a list of these issues. Personally, I don’t like having something close around my neck or mouth because I grew up with asthma. I’m also allergic to animals which limits the places and people I can spend time with to some extent. These are things to be aware of, for yourself and the woman Dom you would like to meet.

Although safety and health are more up to the Dom in a D/s relationship you can’t expect her to know your needs, read your mind or use telepathy to know there is a problem.

Safe words are not that reliable. If there is a real problem, something sudden, you need communication which won’t be forgotten in the moment or confused with something else.  A direct safe word, like stop, is better than trying for some secret code you may not remember when you need it. If you use the safe word for effect rather than actually needing it the play stops anyway. Respect the safe word – it’s not a game.

Communicate and talk about anything you plan to do. Start simple and leave yourself room to back out or change the plan. you may think you want to start with the hard stuff but discover your feelings were far more involved when it was actually happening. It is possible to discover you  have a phobia or intense dislike you didn’t know you had until you tried something. This can be especially true with bondage. Actually being confined is not just as you imagine it to be. Explore and experiment with baby steps and savour the experiences as you go.

Submission is not a gift

Years ago the idea that submission is a gift started in the online BDSM groups. This is not the right attitude. Domination is just as much a gift, if you want to consider either of them a gift at all.

You have chosen to submit and your Dom has chosen to lead you, to control you and to own you (up to a point). She is not likely to want to micro-manage you. Being the Dom is a responsibility. It’s not easy and it is not something to take lightly. People can get hurt physically, mentally and emotionally. Both of you need to communicate to prevent problems. The gift is the relationship itself, when you can find it.

Explore and discover

  • Try blindfolding yourself in your own bed. How does it feel? Does the blindfold itch? Do you feel peaceful?
  • Sit on your hands next time you’re alone watching TV. How long can you keep yourself in this self-bondage? How uncomfortable is it?
  • Sit under a table, let it become your cage. Does the confinement bother you? Do you feel snugly caged or just trapped?
  • Try being naked when you are home alone. With the blinds or curtains closed stand naked in front of the window. Even knowing no one can see you do you get a thrill or can you not even do it at all?
  • Buy a dog collar for yourself. No one has to know you don’t have a dog (or your dog won’t be wearing this one). Wear the collar but wrap it around your wrist the first day (not your neck).
  • Even before you have a Dom you can practice serving her tea. Dress up (she doesn’t want pubic hair in her tea cup), make a plate up with pretty treats and serve tea in a teapot with a fancy teacup and saucer for her.

The reality is much different from the fantasy. Reality isn’t the porn version because it’s not scripted and the people are not actors. However, you can actually be one of the people involved rather than watching and wishing from the sidelines. Just make sure you want the reality, imperfect but not impersonal.

Cut Off Shorts for Men

sexy shorts for men

We know that not every guy is going to look like this but we can pretend… or at least enjoy the view.

I noticed these online and thought they were cute, a take off on denim cut offs but without the hanging threads and other messy looking stuff. Actually these are underwear. Your man could wear these around the house when you want him to.