Tile has arrived!

The long wait is over and we have our tile, just in time for a nice weekend project.  129 square feet of fired porcelain squares, in 24 x 24s and 12 x 12s, just waiting to jump out of the box and get set into our floor.

Tile is going by the front entryway and by the wood stove. I like the color – in the pics it looks like the same thing as the subfloor but it’s really a lot nicer than that.  This shouldn’t take more than a weekend to knock out so hopefully I’ll have it done by September.  Never can tell around here, being on island time.


Island Time

When we were looking at houses here on the island, our realtor kept asking us “so, does this house say Island Living to you?”  Predominantly, the answer was no.  Whether it was the Deliverance House or the Pot House or the  Fire House, we really didn’t see a lot of houses that really even hinted at island living to us.  Until we saw this money pit house, with the beautiful view and the little cottage feeling to it.  It took us a few days to think about it, and we very nearly passed it up. As a house, it does not meet our needs.  But the location is something we just couldn’t beat.

We wrote an offer on the house about four days after we saw it.  From that point on, we were on Island Time.  Now realize, we’re both big city slickers who work in the commercial real estate industry where everything is a tight deadline and every comma has to be in place.  Well, that’s not the case here.  On Orcas, people are on their own time.  They may call you back right away, and they may not.  If they need to get a document to you by a certain time, maybe they will and maybe they won’t.  Waiting for the inspection report or the appraisal?  Ha!  A watched email server never dings, especially not on ISLAND TIME ha ha ha.

At first it frustrated us, but now, it’s just the way it is.  Contractors that should have finished a job weeks ago are just now finishing up.  The washer and dryer set I ordered in April (yes, April) is still not wholly resolved.  I should have had the floors done in June, but the place we bought the flooring from doesn’t even have it in stock yet.  And once they have it, we have to haul our wheels to the mainland to go pick it up.  Let me assure you, a trip to the mainland is about as pleasant as being beaten, buried alive and left for dead in Hoboken.

It’s called Island Time.  Things happen when they happen.  This house is getting renovated about 1/3 as fast as I’d like it to, but that’s Island Time for you.

This weekend I made a trip to the mainland.  I spent about an hour and a half (and a small stack of Benjamins) at Home Depot like a kid in a candy shop.  Went to our storage unit and excavated some more of our stuff, including outdoor furniture so we can now sit outside for the remaining five weeks it may actually be warm enough to do so.  But now, I have some materials to work with, excluding flooring.  Now I can install an electrical outlet outside the house, that’ll come in handy.  And repair some subfloor and set down cement backerboard in preparation of the tile that’s sure to come in soon.  Get to repairing that wood burning stove we have, gathering dust (and bats) in the corner of our living room.

But not all at once.  Sorry, I’m on Island Time now.  And now that I’m here, I’m not going to kill myself fixing this place up.  We moved up here so we can enjoy life a little more.  So it’ll happen when it happens.

The Before and After Pics I’ve been Dying to Post

What a sad lamp.  We can’t tell if that’s graffiti on the side or just what got scribbled on it at the last yard sale. At this stage of its life it’s more dust, cigarette residue and grease than it is lamp.  Brittle electrical cords dangle off the side.  Dead bugs carpet the interior.  The feeble light inside flickers on when asked, most of the time.

I thought about painting each of those little divots a different color, just to spruce it up a bit.  Maybe even paint it fire engine red or something.  Put spikes on the chain for that gothic look.  But I don’t know.  The thing dates back to the Nixon administration, when the wonders of electricity were probably new to this part of the island.

Well, the new lamp came in today.  It’s … adequate.  I mean, it’s nice.  I love the color.  Any color.  Please get some color in this house!  Lamps on chains aren’t my thing, but it gets the job done without me having to move the ceiling receptacle, so I’ll take it.  I’ve been looking forward to replacing that old crappy light fixture for weeks now.  And the new one’s neat looking, sort of.

The old one is being donated to The Exchange next time I go down there.  Either that or use it for Hammer Throw practice.  Pretty sure I could get it into the ocean if I throw it off my front deck.  If there’s enough interest I’ll start the annual Old Chain Lamp Hammer Throw Competition.  Judge for distance and accuracy.

Well, hopefully you can tell which one is the ‘before’ pic and which one is the ‘after’ pic.

Avast, ye mateys.

I never really cared to have a flagpole on my front porch, but at least I know what to do with it when I have one.  Arr!

Prediction:  This flag will encourage Jamie to buy me a new Sawzall reciprocating saw sooner rather than later.


About mid-day Friday, I noticed Inky was glued to the stove in the living room.  Staring at it.  Sniffing it.  Peering under it.  I knew something was up; she’s a pretty good hunter and has sharp instincts.  I looked inside the stove and saw what I thought was a furry little gray mouse.  So I lock Inky in the bedroom and get some gloves on and get ready to grab this mouse and find him a new home.  Outside of our home.

Well, I open the stove again with a flashlight and get a better look at the mouse.  I notice it has leathery wings and hangs upside down from the baffle inside the stove.  No, it’s not a mouse.  It’s a bat.  We had a bat in our house in Denver too; what is it about bats that they seem to just flock to us?  Well, I didn’t feel like freeing it to fly around our house so I locked him back in, and hoped he would climb up the stovepipe and get back outside and go kill a couple thousand mosquitos or something.

Nope.  He was in there all night.  We could hear him scurrying around in there, trying to climb up the pipe, but he never made it out.  Inky, of course, was glued to the stove all night.

Saturday morning, with the sun back up and the bat in sleepymode, we got him out.  With bats (and this wasn’t my first bat, so I kinda have some experience in this) you gotta take some precautions.  Most bats do not carry rabies, but some do.  And their claws and teeth are so small that you may not notice if you’re bitten.  And if you are bitten and they do have rabies and you don’t get it treated… well, rabies has a 100% fatality rate.  So I wear gloves and a long sleeved coat and a hat and we use blankets and sheets and do everything humanly possible not to come into contact with the little guy.

He was sleepy and groggy, so I had to reach in there with a towel and get him to cling onto the towel and pull him out.  He’s sleeping outside now.  I hope he makes it, we got mosquitos that deserve to be eaten by a bat.  With any luck he’ll wake up tonight and fly out and do his thing.  Just hope he stays outside of my stove.