Laundry Room Plans

sIMG_0332Yeah, it’s just the laundry room.  Nothing exciting.  It’s currently 72 poorly arranged square feet that are working way harder than they should be.  In fact, this room does so much that we’ve decided to start the renovation here.

Currently, the washer and dryer are arranged perpendicular to the existing cabinets, which wastes a lot of space.  There’s an entire corner that we can’t even get to.  We just kind of drop things down into the hole, bulky storage items that we don’t have to retrieve often.

Speaking of the existing cabinets, we’re pretty sure they were born in someone else’s house.  Then, when they were taken to the dump and thrown away, someone saw them and said ‘hey, I bet those would fit in my laundry room.’  Now they’re here.  They’re very poorly built; when you open one door it kind of twists the whole frame of it so all the doors open simultaneously.  I hate them.  When I get rid of them, I will burn them to the ground so there’s no risk of them ever being used again.

sIMG_0363Oh, and check out these wonderful shelves.  Those steel racks only found at places like ace hardware, that can transform any old, rotted, trashy slab of wood and turn it into a beautiful, efficient, adjustable shelving system.  These too shall burn.  The steel shall sink to the bottom of the sea, I swear it.

This tiny little 5 x 10 room has a lot of functions.  In addition to laundry, it’s got to have a place for a cat litter box, the microwave and coffee pot, cat food, and quite a bit of miscellaneous utility storage.  It needs to have a hanging wardrobe of sorts, a place to hang clothes fresh out of the dryer, have hooks for mops and brooms and crossbows and whatever else needs to be hung up.

sIMG_0362One reason we’re somewhat motivated to tackle this room first is that there’s a bank of cabinets in the kitchen that is going to get taken down.  These are good cabinets, actually, and they’ll be a nice fit and give us a ton of storage in there.  Once those cabinets are down, we get to knock out a wall and open the kitchen up a little bit.  Looking forward to that.

Construction and demolition may not start for a while.  Still deciding on things like flooring and how to make the new cabinets.  But I’m hoping to get this finished before summer, because then I’ll be outside doing landscaping.

Strange orange object seen in sky

sIMG_0345We saw this strange orange thing up in the sky this morning.  Not sure what it was.  It was really bright and hard to look at.  I think it was a spaceship, or some kind of weird fireball that inexplicably appeared for a few moments.  Going to contact NASA and see if they know anything about this.

sIMG_0343We were on the ferry when we saw it.  The winged sea-rats (depicted on right) did not seem terribly alarmed.  I think they use the orange light to help them scavenge for food.  They’re always staring at me like I have popcorn in my pockets or something.

sIMG_0347Once we got off the ferry, it turned into a really foggy day.  The highways were downright eerie, and flanked by the gray silhouettes of gnarled, leafless trees.  Not to mention the california drivers shooting by at speed limit +20, oblivious to the fact that they can’t see more than 30 yards ahead of them at a time.  Maybe they were just watching their GPS to make sure they were following the road okay.

sIMG_0353 sIMG_0356The weather on the way back was nice.  Clear skies with little banks of fog socked into the lowlands.  Like hordes of zombies moving slowly from suburb to suburb to prey upon the living.  Seriously, fog like that is really creepy.  Got a neat view of Mt. Baker with the moon right behind it.  More winged rats were scavenging the beaches for anything they could wrap their beak around.  They’re in league with the zombies, I’m sure of it.

sIMG_0334While on the beach, we found a bird feather that we brought home for Inky.  She went absolutely ballistic.  It smelled like bird, real authentic Bird!  She was completely nuts over it.  I mean, Cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs nuts.

Well, we got back from the mainland with a carload of goods from Target and Walgreens and other various luxuries we don’t often find on the island.  It’s a balancing act.  Not only does it cost around $50 just to get the car on the ferry, but we’re talking 12 hours of Life that goes by between the time we have to get up and the time we get back.  So $50 + (cost of gas) + (whatever you think your free time is worth per hour × 12 hours) is the base cost of dragging yourself to the mainland for a shopping excursion.  Naturally, we save a bit of money at the big box stores stocking up on paper towels and napkins and stuff, but if your net savings isn’t greater than what you came up with in the equation above, you lost money.  Not monopoly money.  Real, live, legal tender for all debts public and private.  In this case, I think we broke even.

sIMG_0337We bought a cord of firewood a while back, so when we got home we had plenty of fuel to make this house nice and toasty.  So we could unfurl our retail store prizes in the comfort of a warm home.  I must say, that is well worth the price of admission.

Critter List

I think some people have this internal Critter List where they mentally keep track of all the critters they have seen.  I know I do.  These are critters we’ve seen in their own natural habitat, their home, the places they actually live.  When we see them in a zoo or at a circus, while cool, it’s not the same thing.  The guy down the road has llamas and geese on his farm, and it’s neat.  But it’s not like a wild critter sighting.

We’ve all seen the usual ones, the squirrels and birds and pigeons and stuff.  Bats and foxes and raccoons are not uncommon.  If you’re from Florida, I’m sure you can cross alligators off your list.  Most people have seen snakes and frogs and turtles in their travels.  Hawks, sure.  Rats?  Hey, they’re critters.  Starfish?  Got ’em.  Wild turkeys?  Yup.  Owl?  Haven’t seen them but I’ve heard one.  River otters?  Yup.  Never seen a bear or a mountain cat myself but I know plenty of people who have.

Well, now I can finally add this little critter family to my list.  Orca whales, headed east across the sea, right outside my front door.  Not in a zoo, not at sea world, not on the farm up the road or in some guy’s backyard swimming pool, but right here.  How cool is that?

They don’t surface for very long so you have to be quick with a camera.  I’m very happy to have been able to see these guys.

Clear day

sIMG_1229On a clear day, you can see pretty far out here.  Those mountains are in Canada, and they’re about 50 miles out.  You can only really see them when they’re not obscured by clouds, an event that occurs about one day out of 300.  Usually you look out to sea and just see this foggy haze over the water and it looks like it just goes on forever.


Camera + Telescope = Fun

sIMG_1236Well, not like laser-beams-coming-out-your-eyeballs fun, but it’s pretty fun nonetheless.

I could sink a lot of money into astrophotography.  The tripod I want costs as much as a slightly used volkswagen.  And there’s a telescope I’ve seen that sells more for a house.  Seriously.  They make some neat stuff nowadays.  If I win the lottery, that’s where all my money is going.

I snapped these lunar pics while there was still daylight left.  The focus wasn’t as crisp as I’d like but for a little amateur telescope I’ll take it.  We don’t get many clear nights out here but when we do, I’ll get a few nice pics out of it.

Stormy Seas

sIMG_1218 sIMG_1220 sIMG_1222 sIMG_1223The locals keep telling us it’s going to snow, and it excites them like some combination of impending doom and fantastical magic.  Then, in the sky, one snowflake out of a thousand raindrops materializes and falls to the ground.  “Look, it’s snowing!”  Sorry guys, that’s not what snow is.  Most of these snowflakes [sic] melt before they hit Earth.  The remainder melt on contact.  I know it’s early in the season, but that’s not snow and we have yet to see anything even remotely resembling snow.

For one, our house is too close to sea level, and we don’t have the cold air that comes with altitude.  In fact, we get a whole different weather pattern on our side of the island.  Sometimes it’s cold out here and you go to town and it’s nice and warm out.  Or it’s pleasant here and there’s a storm in town.

Last month we had some pretty high winds.  Amazingly enough, our house doesn’t blow out to sea, but it feels like it should.  The winds howl all night, shaking the trees and pouring a billion pine needles into our gutters.  The seas got pretty choppy one day and I snapped the pics above.  Not a lot of boats out in that water.

When you meet the turkeys on the road…

sIMG_0324 sIMG_0325Okay, so I know what you’re supposed to do when you meet the Buddha on the road.  Not sure about turkeys.

It’s a family of six.  Four of them were newborns earlier this year.  They always hang out in the same area, usually along the road or in peoples’ front yards.  Sometimes they fly up onto someone’s roof.  Yes, they can fly, though not far.  I’ve seen them fly up about 20 feet and take roost in a tree.

They all survived thanksgiving, which was a bit surprising but we’re glad they did.  They’re fun to have around.  They’re not the brightest things on the road, and in a way they remind me of tourists.  You pull your truck up to them and it takes them a minute to figure out that they need to move or they’ll get run over.  Kind of like people crossing the street in Denver.