Thursday, February 23, 2012

Awning and interior paneling

A few photos of our most recent trip are here:

Sunday, September 11, 2011


On our latest trip up to the island Ian and I and the dogs, with the help of friends M, M, and L and their dog, managed to get the battens up . . . but no paint on.  And M and I (or was it M and I?  you'll never know . . .) picked some blackberries (yay! enough for at least one pie!), noting that our blackberry bushes have been popular with some locals already.  I'm sure Ian and I invited them to pick their fill several years ago (I mean, from then on), and yet I really wish they would do some trimming while they're at it, so that it would be easier for us to reach those purple-black, sun-warmed bites of pure heaven. Without all the scarring of hands and fingers and the destruction of clothes that comes from something deploying its natural defense mechanisms. 

Next up for the dacha will be a bit of caulking, but I think we'll be able to do that AND paint in the same weekend.  We've hoping for a work party for the next trip, too. 

New pictures at the end of this album:  It's the same album, but I changed the name so this is a new URL. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More Pictures

Starting about 20 from the end of here: there are more pictures available from our last trip to the Island, the weekend of the 13-14.  Yes.  Our plan was to side, batten, and paint.  You can see how well that went.

However, we learned a valuable lesson--we didn't try to beat the Friday rush; instead, we packed up the car in the evening after work and riding, and drove north until we hit traffic in Everett, then got off the freeway and had dinner--at an IHOP, as you do in such situations.  We then re-entered I-5 at Marysville, this circumnavigating the remainders of the slow-down, and arrived at Anacortes about 1 1/2 hours before the last boat of the night, which was at 11:00pm.  No stress, no time in traffic.

And then, of course, we slept in our Dacha.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hats on to the Dacha!

Marsh and I went up to Orcas for just the day today--he will have to be exhausted tomorrow because he did all the driving, and he came and went from Maple Valley--let alone the work--and we finished the roof on the cottage and cleared almost all of the slowly deteriorating contractor bags off our land.  We left the one way to the north in the copse, because it was after 3:30 when we finally got to the trash stage, and the transfer station was only open until 4pm.

I tried to get the dogs to stay in the dacha while we threw out 5 years' worth of garbage and noxious weeds (which was no more than 10 bags, in actuality, and an old, ant-infested sleeping pad), but Spackle absolutely would not come.  He went and hid under the picnic table and instead of obeying me, proceeded to shake.  I quickly gave up and loaded dogs into truck, and off we went.
The facility is actually very close, and we were done and back on the land before 4.  The dogs got back out of the truck and I took myself off to the outhouse where I met Spackle, who was lying in the shade next to the rain barrell and the empty water bowl.


The poor dog--both poor dogs--were DYING of thirst.  OF COURSE Spackle wouldn't have wanted to be left in the dacha--if all the people went away, he was going to shrivel down to a really, really hairy raisin.  The thought of that had, naturally, scared the bejeezus out of him.

Dogs were duly watered, and treats were later served out inside the dread building itself.  Spackle did come in for his treat (ha ha--his concealed a pill), but bee-lined it back out of there before any doors could be closed on him.

Both dogs ultimately seemed to enjoy their days, and Marsh and I enjoyed ours.  On the drive home, Spackle curled up into an aging oval so that Hoover could lie in his much more flexible tight circle and peace reigned.

Pictures of the latest stage are posted.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Dacha

Ian and I are in the exciting (alarming) earliest stages of really, for realsies, thinking about moving up to Orcas Island. We've been imagining the glory of Living On Orcas for several years now—we maybe purchased the land 6 years ago?—and we have a house design that is millimeters away from being completed—and a heart-stopping amount of cash that we are trying to hold together to accomplish our hopes and dreams, whilst it flits this way and that, dodging us and slipping away on adventures that have nothing whatsoever to do with anything so staid as flooring or windows or most boring as well as most necessary—foundation.

In the meantime, though, we've been given a gift that has opened up the floodgates of our yearning and imaginations . . . and also made me perfectly clear on one thing: there is no way, NONE AT ALL, that I am going to be building this future home myself. A whimsical, half-constructed, 10X12 building is, I think, going to be my limit, much as I really have loved being an integral part of its erection (sorry—couldn't help it).

Those of you who have come here from I Thought I Was Done With This will have seen some pictures of this little cabin in its early stages, but I think I've mostly forgotten to give much information about its whys and wherefores unless you've actually seen me and asked and so, may I present, The Origins of the Dacha*:

The architects of the barn for the neighbors across the street on Orcas, K (whose birth date was exactly 3 years before mine) and C (who has two Hunter/Jumpers and a fancy arena!!!!), decided to design a compact, modular building that could be theoretically used as a non-permit-needing auxiliary dwelling unit (outside guest room). On Orcas at least, if you don't live full-time in a building, and you don't put power or water in it, you can build something as big as 400 square feet. This little project has an inside space of a mere 110 square feet. The architects abandoned their first attempt, however, leaving its dregs disassembled under an aged tarp at K&C's where the pieces weathered hopefully for some seasons, wishing to be whole again. Time passed. Eventually the architects, having found construction assistance on the mainland, and changing their plans a bit, donated the now very soggy stack of (let's face it) shack components to K&C, in whose yard they lay. K&C immediately offered the components to us and we, failing to recognize a huge amount of work and a big time suck when it punched us in the face, jumped at the chance to have this building.

We have not been sorry.

So, full disclosure time: To put the actual basic structure together, all we had to do was screw some ready-built frames together. Okay, not exactly only that; we did have to set pier blocks and screw down the flooring on the first frame. And then the architects were concerned about the strength of the dormers in the shape they'd been left, and so we shored those up on the undersides (the in-the-house sides) with metal strips when we raised the walls and put on the roof. But then, basic structure in place, we were set free with our imaginations!

Ian and I picked out windows and doors from the ReStore in Ballard, then bought flooring from the Habitat for Humanity store just south of the stadia on 99. Memorial Day Weekend we were on the island working, and our friend L became our very first Orcas Estate House Guest (for which she deserves a plaque). Anyway, I'm getting very sleepy now and my words are running out (this is, after all, my third post today), so go here to view The Dacha in all her glory (well, she's still a bit undressed, but she's coming along).

*Russian country home, occasionally just a little shack, often a place where the city dwellers raise small gardens. Russians are evidently world leaders in second home ownership.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What Happened to July?

Late, Late late late breaking news.

Back in June, we spent the night on Orcas with Erik and KD, and saw all sorts of interesting things, including PEARS! (which, to cut ahead four months, I will say didn't quite ever ripen. But we have high hopes for next year.)

We also had plums, at least few. They, alas, had all disappeared long before harvest.

Here's Erik, testing the awesome hammock Ian brought back from Brazil a couple years ago. It's in our little glade, and I must say, one of the premier places on earth. That is, the hammock in the glade. Below (I think the formatting of this post will be very, very bad, if the posting itself is any indication . . . ), please witness the very happy Beauty Bush. And below that, sadly, the unhappy weeping willow.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I wasn't the last person on the ferry, but I was far enough back that I got to park on the steepest part of the ramp. I spent most of the ride in the car--it felt like I was taking off, which made me nervous Posted by Picasa

I got very dirty. Posted by Picasa

I worked so hard even my liver got worn out! Ha ha, no, just wet gloves. Posted by Picasa

Dogwood is also *covered* with moss and lichen. Really, it's like it's in a time warp that allows these slow-growers to take over the world. I picked off a lot of the moss. Posted by Picasa

Dogwood, looking a little challenged. Blooms never came out, just these rather stunted leaves. Posted by Picasa

Beauty bush, gettin' beautiful Posted by Picasa

And then it got dry and sunny. Posted by Picasa

It was really, really wet. Posted by Picasa

Beautiful Blooms Posted by Picasa