Living Room Furniture

The blue chair stinks, so I’m told.  I can’t smell anything.  That bucket of premixed mortar makes a great footrest, though.

No, we didn’t have a designer arrange this for us, but thanks for asking.

It’s a war zone

It starts.  We broke ground on the garage.  They dug a nice trench and set up an area for drainage.  Found some big landscaping boulders down there too (not like we don’t have about 4,216 boulders already, but I’ll take a few more).

It’s going to be a while before we even think about landscaping.  But when we do, I like to have a bunch of rocks to work with.  I remember in Denver we paid like $900 for a landscaping boulder.  Out here, I got more than I know what to do with.

The excavation went really well, and quick.  Didn’t encounter anything they couldn’t dig up with the backhoe.  Next comes the forms for the concrete.  Once the forms are constructed, the concrete is poured.  Once that’s dry, the framing is put up.  And the roof.  And the sheathing.  Electrical.  Roof.  Before you know it we’ll have a garage.

With a garage comes my tools, and a shop.  And inside the house we’ll have the floors installed and we’ll get some furniture here.  We’ll have furniture, shop, real floors, a garage.  It’ll start to feel a little less like camping.

Cats are coming up early this season

Well, it’s the only thing the deer won’t eat so we planted a bunch of them.  No point planting petunias and hydrangea; that’s just deer food.  But potted cats are pretty hardy and if you time it just right you can take them in for the winter and they’ll live year round.  Next I think we’ll get a bouquet of kittens for a hanging basket.

(It’s our neighbor’s cat)

(no, we didn’t get Inky another cat)

(she’d kill us)

Tile installed

Got the last piece of tile set tonight.  I think it looks completely awesome.  Very happy with it.  And the pieces haven’t popped off the walls just yet so it’s possible they might stay on a while.

The install went as well as it could have.  Most older homes don’t really have any 90 degree corners, and when you put down square tiles the gaps and uneven surfaces just become more noticeable.  The floor here cups a bit and the walls aren’t exactly straight but with enough shims and mortar I got it to work out.

Still need to do the grout, but that’s the easy part.

The tile layout went through a few iterations from the initial plan.  The idea was to create a hearth for the wood burning stove (which goes right in the corner) and a place to take your boots off after coming in the back doors.  The one thing we had to consider was furniture placement, as it’s going to limit our options of where to put things when we have some tiled areas and some hardwood floor.

Speaking of hardwood floor, it’s in and it’s on the mainland and it’s just waiting for me to run out there and pick it up.  Maybe this week I’ll get a chance to do that.

As usual, throughout this project, cats were no help.


This is really the before picture

Found this old pic of the house, long before we ever saw it.  That orange thing on the porch might be a pumpkin, but the pic is dated December 1992 so your guess is as good as mine.  I’m glad someone had the sense to take out those junipers out front.  Saved me the trouble.


Busy Weekend

We were awoken at 8 am Saturday to a sharp tapping, as if some madman un-gently rapping, rapping at our front door.  ‘Tis some madman, we believed, and nothing more.

Thinking perhaps it was the sheriff, or some neighbor’s morning mischief, rapping at our dilapidated front door.  ‘Twas some neighbor and nothing more.

But our locale is so rural that we though it was inconceivable that a person would rap so for no reason at all.  Whoever came out here to knock on our front door, came with a purpose.

So we answered with bathrobes flowing and discovered it was no madman but instead a deliveryman who possessed our prized clothes dryer, the undamaged version to replace the damaged one that was delivered to us not six weeks ago.

Joy of joys, we unexpectedly received our undamaged dryer which now sits side by side with its matching washer.  Laundry ahoy!  The photograph beautifully captures the golden hue of the linoleum tile upon which it rests.  And if you look really close, you can see me in the reflection of the knob taking a picture of it all.

Beside that, it was a weekend of setting cement backerboard and measuring tile and stepping on carpenter ants.  Fun stuff.  We did get the tile set by the front door, at least.


I cannot overstate the excitement, the enthusiasm, the sheer passion Inky has in hunting the Bedmonster.  Daily she demands our assistance in finding the elusive beast.  It slithers under the blankets, crawls in the shadows, and darts just out of reach of her dagger-like claws.  When she hunts the Bedmonster, she becomes a Mayan jaguar god, a cunning and ruthless hunter that finds her prey even under the deep cover of blankets.  And when she finds it, the mouse-shaped furball with leather strings attached to it, she pounces and bites and claws and kicks and twists, until it moves no more.

But then, it moves again.  Tries to retreat under the blanket.  Dig deeper into the comforter.  And Inky is quick to dart after it.  Claw!  Bite!  Kick!  Clutch!  Her hunter’s eyes become wide as saucers.  She digs it out from under the blankets, until it struggles no more.

As far as we’re concerned, the only Bedmonster in the bed is black and furry and is named Inky.

The View

We didn’t move here because of this lovely claptrap house that sits on the hill.  We didn’t buy this place because we want to spend the next two years skinning our knuckles while repairing the splintery deck.  Nor do we particularly enjoy stepping on carpenter ants in the bathroom.  Or the crappy wood paneling that covers every surface like wallpaper.

No.  We moved here to look out our window and see the ocean.  To go outside and smell it in the wind.  To not have to get up at the crack of butt cheese just so we can miss heavy traffic on the way to work in the morning.  There are no traffic lights on Orcas Island, because there really is no traffic.  Once I went to the grocery store and there were two cars in front of me and one behind.  That’s about as heavy as it gets.

This is what we see when we look out the window.  The water has distinct textures and color that doesn’t always come out in a photograph.  Sometimes it’s glassy, sometimes it’s choppy, sometimes you can follow the currents and waves as they roll across.  Sunrises are pure gold.  Sunsets are a tapestry of gemstones.  Every night, you can hear the waves crash on the shore.