Teamwork

It takes a team to stay sane in our house at the moment. The kitchen table is covered in seaglass projects in progress. I launched my Etsy store this week and I am cranking out mobiles to keep it well stocked. Thank goodness Matt is supportive in me spending every spare second working and is helping out as my official shipper!

Our living room and new guest room, while not actually in construction, are staging areas for renovation materials, tool, barrels of demo debris, and storage for lots of furniture. Things are basically a wreck! And we are still smiling. Matt has been removing the built in closet storage in the old guest room closet…the closet that will go away this weekend to make room for more kitchen! Storing all our furniture has been a challenge without a garage (one of the major downsides of our house).

This morning I was rushing out the door to work, and did not have time to eat breakfast. Matt had made me eggs and toast and I was trying to do it all. Shovel in eggs while buttoning up my coat. How did we make it work? I asked him to blow on the eggs while I ate so that I could get them down as fast as possible. Teamwork at its finest.

Happy Friday.

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Another Craigslist Find

I am happy to report that Craigslist has been a success once again! I troll almost daily, looking for exactly the right pieces to make out home function well. A few weeks back we acquired a beautiful antique china cabinet that fits our dining room perfectly. This weekend we picked up another great find: a cabinet for our bathroom.

The master bath has forever been cluttered thanks to a lack of storage. No cabinets, no shelves beyond the medicine cabinet. Extra supplies have lived on the counter or in our closet. It was time for another piece of furniture.

After weeks of searching “bathroom cabinet” and “white cabinet” a perfect fit popped up. Even better: it was in West Seattle and right on our way home from weekend activities. We picked it up, strapped it to the top of the mini (man that thing has hauled a lot of stuff!) and it is now sitting proudly in our CLEAN and ORGANIZED bathroom. Ok, not quite perfect but it was laundry day and the hamper was more than full. It looks great now 🙂

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Thank you Craigslist. Now if you can find me the perfect bench for the dining table, I would be extra grateful.

Feng Shui-ness

Or as I prefer to spell it (prior to a google search): fung schwayness. That is our beautiful little house after a weekend of projects.

We never fully moved in. There are still rooms to paint and two whole spaces are just catch-all areas for stuff we don’t know where to put. For now it is ok…we have space, and not really any time to deal with it anyway.

This past weekend we made a dent. Not in the boxes or paint, but the never ending list of little projects. You know, hang a towel bar and picture, replace light switches so they match the wall plate, clean light fixtures, replace burnt out bulbs. The super tedious stuff that just takes hands and time.

On Friday night we had a super fun dinner with ALL the parents. Matt made salmon two ways, and the mamas brought sides. Topped off with wine and fresh strawberries and cream the evening went far faster than anyone wanted.

My parents spent the night and on Saturday helped us tackle all those little to-dos. It made such.a.difference. Our living room in particular feels 1000x more complete. We put down the new rug, hung a painting, cleaned scuffs on the walls (reminds us how much the room needs fresh paint), cleaned a shelf with ¼ of dirt on it (ick!), and finally, added our antique china cabinet to the room. The furniture has always felt “off” in the room. To heavy on one end, not enough walls to balance it out. And we love all the pieces. Plus we had a gorgeous antique curved glass china cabinet that was just hanging out in the guest room. Not really a long term spot. We decided to try it out in the living room and, BOOM!, amazingness! The whole room just came together! Matt and I cannot stop dragging each other in there and exclaiming how good it feels! It’s got it’s fung schwayness! (ok ok I know that is not how it is spelled…)

Our little house is such a joy. Crocus and daffodils are blooming, and our water logged yard is just begging for spring to pop. We are ready too. 10 days till Mexico. 89 days till schools is out. We cannot wait to paint our house, enjoy our island and just BE with a little extra time.

Split Pea Goodness

Nothing says fall like split pea soup. We save up chicken carcasses to make homemade stock, and after boiling two sets this week, split pea soup was on the menu. We bought beautiful celery from the farmers market, and opened our huge glass canning jar filled with bright green split peas. Rich, warm and filling, this is the perfect meal to curl up with and watch the leaves turn after a day of working in the yard.

Another Season

Nothing gets your house clean like company. With a limited window between moving in and starting my final year of grad school, this past Saturday was the only realistic day to host a housewarming party this year. So we put it on the calendar and hoped that we could have the house ready in time. I am happy to report that after months of living out of boxes, the final 24 hours prior to the party we transitioned the house from a moving/project war zone into its current state as a clean, comfortable, cozy home. Matt’s parents came over and helped and it made all the difference. Both bathrooms are clean top to bottom, all the hardwood swept and mopped, kitchen cleaned, and all the extra boxes moved to the spare bedroom. The morning of the party we were still scrambling. Matt’s dad and I took two full car loads of recycling (mostly broken down cardboard boxes) to the recycling station and unloaded it in the dumping rain. The house feels amazing! I took a few before photos, and an “after” movie tour of the house, but won’t be able to post them yet. Just know that our house looks wonderful.

The party was great! We did not have a huge crowd, but a great group none the less. Lots of family and some friends from all different parts of our lives. Matt whipped up some great pulled pork, and everyone brought yummy things to share. Outside we got a record breaking downpour of rain, but inside was warm and cozy.

We played games with Maggie and Bryan till after dark, and then right after saying goodbye to them, Chris showed up! It was so great to see him, and we played a few more games before crashing for the night. In the morning, Matt made coosh coosh and eggs, and we toured Chris around our property so he could tell us what all our plants are. We have quite the landscape to get under control next year! I am so excited to be here for a full growing season and put our dream of growing more food into practice.

A quiet evening at home was the perfect end to our weekend. The house was clean, I worked on school prep, and Matt made a decadent cheese bread pudding, chanterelles and leftover pulled pork for dinner. We ate at our dining room table and glowed with love for our house, each other, and our life. It is a good change to the new season on the island.

Bliss in Chaos

Our house feels like chaos. Boxes everywhere, seemingly piled a mile high. Our kitchen is half unpacked and but already feels totally full. No washing machine yet because I have not found time to work on tile. Dinners have been thrown together (and therefore we have been eating a lot more pasta than usual) and I am ready for some real cooking again.

Throughout it all though, our house has already proven itself as the ultimate retreat. Every night we take a few moments to soak in the quiet, the stillness and beauty of our house, on our island. We could not have picked a more perfect fit.

Adjusting to the new commute has been easier than I anticipated. My old alarm went off at 6:10…now, 5 AM and that feels REALLY early. Matt and I are out the door around 5:55 and the bus picks us up in front of our house for a quick ride to the water taxi. Less than a half hour later, we are in Seattle. The boat ride in the morning, and on the way home, are so relaxing and fun. We talk, or not, and enjoy leaving the cares of the city and workday behind us.

When the bus drops us off at home, the cats are content to wander the yard, or just soak in sunshine from the deck or windowsills. The island pace helps us slow down with our to-do list and tackle it with purpose and clear priority. With so many projects, we need some pacing! Last night Matt mowed half the lawn while I continued to unpack the kitchen and clean off the guest room bed for my grandparents. We stopped just after sunset to eat dinner while listening to our favorite Pandora station…we have internet finally! However, no computer is hooked up yet, so the backlog of photos is still on my camera. I’ll add “posting photos” to my to-do list and see when I get to it.

Cramming It In

A lot has happened in the past week, and we are still going at full force. I guess that is what happens when big life changes happen. It is like the convergence zone of a storm…you just take a deep breath and keep moving…and hope the other side comes sooner rather than later.

On Wednesday, we got the keys and walked into OUR house for the first time since plunking down money. Extra cool surprise: our key looks like a ferry going from West Seattle to an island with a house on top! Our house! It could not be more perfect. It felt so good to explore the rooms empty, and discover things we had not noticed about the house. We camped out, and ate pizza on the floor of the living room to celebrate our first night in the house. Sleeping on camping mats was ok, but the real test of patience was pulling ourselves away from the house for a night of camping on the 4th!

We hopped on the Southworth ferry and took a very quick ride to the Kitsap peninsula for a night at Matt’s parents property on Tiger Lake. We had quite the crew camping out, and tons of food, water fights and fireworks to enjoy. Great way to celebrate the 4th!

On Friday night we went back home to our new house and relaxed in the hot tub and picked paint colors. Talk about a test of love…agreeing on colors is probably one of the roughest things Matt and I have to deal with. The misalignments of taste are short lived though, and after about 40 minutes, we had a full scheme for our house. Success! My parents arrived that night bringing our freezer and my great-grandfather’s dental cabinet! Furniture! The house is filling up…

Saturday = Seattle International Beer Festival! Or annual tradition. Sunshine and beer and hanging out with people’s love…it does not get much better than that. Except it does get worse when my body later decided that I drank too much beer in too much sunlight and flung me into a hangover coma for the rest of the evening. I was barely able to make it back to Vashon. Good ol mom for taking care of me.

Sunday we were full force working on the house. Our project list was a mile long (ambitious?) but we actually got a lot of it accomplished! The laundry room wall was built and drywall is partially up. All the closet sand cabinets in the whole house are clean, master bedroom closet doors fixed, fabric flower wallpaper torn down, and carpet pulled upon the second bedroom closet. Woohoo! We are in process of determining if the shelf we want to take down actually CAN be taken down. It is unclear how it is working structurally in the house,and need some expert advice before we go further. I’d say pretty good for one day of work!

Matt and I have been craigslisting like crazy too. We sold some furniture,bought a 126 bottle wine rack, free box spring and found a dining room table to look at tonight! We even bought tile for the laundry room (much easier to agree on than paint!) and shelving for the storage room. The house is taking shape!

So where am I able to find all the time to write about this? Two words: jury duty. I have been sitting at the courthouse for two days waiting to hear if I will be on a jury. Talk about boring. A least I figured out to being my iPad on day two to keep me entertained. Only a few more hours and I am free! Fingers crossed!

Friday and Saturday are our big move days…then we will officially be living on Vashon Island!

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