Old Doors

Brad and I went by ReStore on our way home yesterday and picked up old doors for our barn. We purchased 4 doors for closing off the storage upstairs, 3 more doors (1 to go) for closing off the other side; and two doors for the pocket doors between the bedroom, bath and laundry downstairs. We also purchased 12 hinges. Nine doors and 12 hinges for $245. Not too bad! Here Travis and Brad work on cleaning them up and readying them for painting.



The first load of gravel (7 yards) is crushed rock and pea gravel for the pathways and patio outside the barn. Later in the day we receive 12 yards of drainrock to put around the main living and guesthouse for foundation drainage. Wayne of Blue Star delivered and beautifully placed both loads in very tricky locations.

At the end of the day -- two very exhausted gravel movers


Getting Snugged In for Winter

Once the plumbing and insulation are complete, another inspection, and then we get to use our chicken shit wood -- the wood we collected from a barn in Bellingham, all those months ago, will be the paneling in this room. See Wood Recovery; Source of the Chicken Shit Wood ; and The Final Blast

Plumbing Happens


Travis' friend Abe helps out for a few days. Travis and Abe are working on the drainage around the guesthouse and main living building, which includes the very heavy job of moving drain rock.


The Barn

is truly an amazing building.

The ladder up to the storage loft

The apparatus for the carriage door

The upstairs/outdoor "room". This space is also designed for future expansion. Our lot in Langley allows us to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), so this is the on-hold space for doing that. In the meantime, the neighbors talk of it serving as a bandstand for a neighborhood party.

Photos by Brad

Visiting Whidbey

Friends and Bellingham neighbors of Brad and Erin, Liz, Russ & Evan, enjoy a weekend on Whidbey. The Island County Fair is just a stone's throw from Grace Lane so our new home's location is a perfect spot for enjoying the fair which the five of them did much of the weekend. Ed and I too enjoyed the fair, with its junk food, exhibits, great farm animals and the famous Island County Logging Show. Today's the last day of the fair with rain spoiling the fun a little this morning but sunshine again this afternoon.

Erin, Brad and Baby E

Liz Swinging

Packing up to head back to Bellingham


High School Buddies

Paul and Barry visit Brad on Whidbey so, for fun, we grab this photo of the three of us. We are class of '59 Placer High friends.


Solar Heat Storage

The solar heat's storage walls are getting rigid insulation glued to them and then the seams are being taped, both to hold heat inside and to be the last line of defense in holding water outside. Doug Boleyn of Cascade Solar Consulting is still crunching the numbers on the details for this innovative hot water heating system, soon to be installed.

Telephones, Computers, DSL

Whidbey Telecom puts their lines in our open ditches today.

Whidbey Telecom worker in the trench.

Yesterday Ed and Brad ran the lines for computers and cable T.V. (Interesting, don't you think? Ed and I haven't had a T.V. for 23 years now. This cable will probably be an unused resource, but it seemed like a good idea while the line running is easy.). I think the trenches are almost ready to be filled in! Goodbye ankle-breaking ditches!

Post Consumer Waste

Our scrap pile is amazingly small. We've been using every piece of recycled wood where ever and however we can. Nevertheless, even our small pile of waste is frustrating to Brad. Now, with our scraps, he's started building bird houses. He wants each of us to build a birdhouse a day (so far he's the only one to do so) so we can sell them and use the proceeds for a new-home-furniture-fund. Birdhouse anyone?

"Many Hands Make Light Work."

John Heywood

Brad with his dad, Barry & good friend, Paul Briner, enjoying an afternoon working together. The projects they're working on are: Brad's truck; reworking some of our table saw apparatus; and cutting and splitting firewood for Barry to take home.


Finishing up the inside

The bedroom/bath is cleaned up for the concrete floor treatment

The first coat

Not yet dry, with several coats to go

Looking Up


The last piece of siding goes up on the barn...

Brad and Travis work to put up the last piece of siding. Although the siding has been almost complete for days, we ran short, so there was a mad scramble to mill more of the recycled 2x8's into 1x8's. The first batch of siding went to Red Barn Millworks; this batch was done by Travis, Austin and Brad in house. Brad created a new feeder table, making it possible to complete the task ourselves. The other part of the equation making running the boards through our band saw work, was the purchase of a Super Scanner (just like the one they use on you at the airport) to detect all nails before they were found by the saw blade. Ed and I worked late last night to complete the staining of the boards so they could go up this morning.

Travis & Brad ham it up as they celebrate the driving of the last nail on the last piece of barn siding!

Ellie heads for the top...

Mary, Dick, Ellie & Shanda


The ladder

A day of ladder work. We're working on Sunday to finish the ladder for access to the upstairs storage area of the barn.

Not all went smoothly, with Fran cracking one stringer when she was sanding and it slipped and fell. Not to be out done, Ed and Brad clamped the stringers a little too tight when gluing in the rungs, adding to Fran's crack and adding another. Here comes gorilla glue!


Erin's Dad

Ron not only visits the site for a tour but jumps in and helps out. We're working on the ladder for the barn's upstairs area (once again using the same recycled wood from the Tacoma warehouse). Here we chisel out the mortises that will hold the tenons of the ladder rungs.


The area up over our shop, designed for storage, now has shelves and we're beginning to get organized. Camping, kayaking and biking gear will occupy this space, as well as the items one needs occasionally but not underfoot. The shelves are the same recycled wood we've used elsewhere in the barn. Brad graded the wood as the nails were being pulled and these shelf boards were the junk. They make pretty fine shelving!


Our neighbor at our Luhn Avenue apartment checks out our progress.


Barn Lights

Brad & Ed put the lights up as they work late yet again. It feels good to be completing some of the final details on the Barn, even though those details do appear to be endless. Along the way we'd get a task 90% done in short order and then the next 10% would take forever. The "wrapping up" appears to be no exception. How long will this last 10% take?


Susan, Barry & Brad

Brad's Dad and Susan visit for the day

The north side

Brad and Travis finish up the siding on the barn's north side. The first light in the outdoor upstairs area, on the right, has been installed too, by Electrician Ed.


Here comes the siding

The siding was started some time ago, or at least a couple of sample sections, but now we're really ready for it to go up. The boards have been stained, the flashing completed, the doors and windows installed and painted and caulked -- nothing is in the way now. Tomorrow will be siding day!
The barn is definitely closing in on completion. Brad has even done a punch list for finishing it up. We're estimating two weeks before it can be habitable.