A very pleasing room...

Our new bath, although not photogenic, is great. The sink is in one room. The toilet and shower are in a separate area. Overall the bath isn't large, but with three French doors opening out to the garden and another French door between the sink area and the shower area, it feels spacious. The milestone finish on the floor throughout and on the walls in the shower area is easy to clean and visually pleasing. Having a shower with no walls or enclosure, feels safer than any shower I've previously used. At the shower end of the room is a bench that serves a multitude of functions, but the key function for me is making it much easier to wash my feet and cut my toenails. I can simply put my foot up on the bench so it is safe and convenient. This is particularly important because of my ankle problem which interferes with my balance.

But, here's the answer to the question you all asked, "how will you keep the toilet paper dry?" No problem. It doesn't get wet.


Flying I-Beam

The porch supports have been secured with concrete, the laminate covering ordered and much of the framework welding is completed for the overhead structure.  The door is completed and hung, with weather stripping, but doesn't have glass or hardware yet. The door bell needs to be wired.  So, very soon, we will have a functioning front entry!

Welcome Visitor

Richard Epstein came for a home tour today and then he and Brad were headed out for a catch-up lunch.  Years ago, when I first moved to Langley, Eppy (as he was then called) remodeled the building I owned on 6th Street.  Then, some time after that, Richard hired Brad to work on his construction crew.  We all have a long and pleasing history together.

No More Plastic

Glazed doors are wonderful! Seeing out onto the bridge is beautiful but hazardous, as Annie found out, when she got trapped between the doors.


Installing the Glass in the Doors

Glazing always seems like such a small task. Just stick it in and be done with it. Nope! The steps in placing the energy-perfect glass in our bridge doors were many. Not in order, but necessary, was a red sticky goop; tape that needed the blue protective paper removed; steel stops cut, ground and fit to hold the glass and then screwed in place; and weather stripping.


Front Door

Here, Brad is constructing our front door, which is now installed, with weather stripping and all. We're still waiting for the glass to arrive for this door, as well as our two bridge doors, plus we need the hardware for the front door. Otherwise, they are fully functional, including temporary but quite functional "plastic windows". The completion of the details for our living pleasure and comfort are getting checked off the list at a nice pace.

Kitchen Cart No. 3

This is our third, and last kitchen cart.  All three of our carts are designed to be used outside on the covered porch for summer cooking, or simply pulled out into the room for more counter space.  This cart holds all our small appliances so we can have waffles, a panini sandwich, or make a smoothie outside in the summer.

Window Seat

This is the window seat niche we've created for my quiet reading time.  Just yesterday I picked up a few minutes to enjoy this delightful spot.  Brad is probably wondering how this happened because he has not yet built the cabinet and he and Erin are hiking, skiing and camping on the Olympic Peninsula.  With a little creative use of stuff-on-hand, Ed and I were able to get this spot functioning quite nicely.  The ultimate window seat will be even more perfect, but for now...

Preparing Recycled Wood for Reuse

Planing and Sanding are a couple of the final stages along the way in reworking recycled wood for reuse.  Of course, this doesn't count the hours and hours or locating the wood, sorting it, storing it, and searching for the perfect piece for the specific task at hand.  The front door alone, for example, needed to have several pieces pulled before the right ones were decided on.

However, before anything can happen, the wood needs to have the nails pulled and then it needs to be cleaned with a steel brush.  After those first two steps it can be cut with a chop saw, table saw or skill saw.  One other step we add, but didn't photograph, is running a metal detector along the wood to see if there are hidden nails.

Entry Porch

The past few days Brad and Josh have been hard at work building our front door, which is now glued and drying.  The threshold is installed, as is the door jam.  The front porch is also being constructed which started with metal posts being welded to a steel I-Beam.

Table in the Lawn

Today a permanent table went into the lawn for summer dining and hanging out pleasure.  The pictures show:

  • Brad has welded iron scraps onto the prototype kitchen table base (recycling metal) so it will have a tight grip in the concrete;
  • Brad placing the base in the hole of concrete;
  • Josh & Brad preparing to pour the concrete;
  • Josh mixing the concrete.

Engineering Questions Answered...

Remember, back on 10/15/08 there were engineering questions (See Main Living Engineering Questions) regarding our roof and wall structural integrity?  Josh, in this photo, is installing one of the solutions.  See the crisscross metal between the rafters in the photo?  On the interior there were bird blocks where the crisscross metal pieces are being added on the exterior.  Outside Brad didn't want bird blocks because he wanted the light and air to pass between the roof and the beams so these metal straps solved the problem.  Also, part of the solution involved adding double blocking along the ridge line.    


Enjoying the emerging view...

As the landscape is developed we have a lovely spot to watch it unfold.  This wall of windows faces east.

Old but worth doing...

These pictures date back to the weekend before Thanksgiving.  They show our new Fleetwood doors from Island Sash and Door and the newly installed metal counter tops with brackets built by Heavy Metal Works.  Two great island businesses we've enjoyed creatively working with on various projects.


Front Porch Welding

Brad welds; Fran helps.

Eli, Dick, Andrew & Brad


Ugly Solution!

Sometimes the weeds are too tenacious and the hill too steep for mulching to do the job. Weeding, along with being very difficult, would cause an erosion problem.   So, an ugly, but good solution, is to cover the area with black plastic and wait.  In several months the plastic can be removed and, if one waited long enough, the weeds will be gone.

From the inside-out

Our behind the scene storage in the kitchen is:
  • A 12" by 7' pantry that pulls out.  Already we have added three new shelves because the spacing didn't suit us perfectly.  That said, the pantry is very useful and stores a good quantity of food without taking up much room;
  • A Sears Craftsman tool cart spice drawer.  Other drawers hold pot holders, tea and coffee, silverware, baking pans, knives, and so forth.  We have two carts and they each have 6 drawers of varying depths.

Pulling it together

Some  shots of main living interior:
  • my office niche
  • the north kitchen wall
  • the south kitchen wall
There are still many, many details yet unfinished to reach our final look but it's happening.  The reduction of possessions to the items we use daily (or almost) is happening slowly but surely.  Also, finishing up the construction details is happening along the way.  The kitchen shelving is still temporary and will, at some point in the future, be metal like the counter tops.  My desk niche needs lots more work to be fully functional and crisply neat.  But, little-by-little it's coming together nicely.

We are delighted with the flexibility of the Craftsman tool carts in our kitchen and look forward to moving them out onto the patio in the summer for outdoor food prep.  We are also pleased with the appliances we purchased.  Our appliances, from Albert Lee, are one of our few major non-island purchases.  Our special needs and desires forced us away from many of the traditional appliance solutions.  Our appliances are:
  • American gas stove
  • Faber hood
  • Bosch dishwasher
  • Liebherr refrigerator
Each of the appliances we selected, due to our small space, are 24" wide and deep.   Our small appliances (toaster, waffle iron, etc.) will be on a cart as well, but it is not yet purchased.  In this way we can use them anywhere in the kitchen or on the patio for summer outdoor cooking and eating.

Having the kitchen divided on two sides is perfect for us.  Ed works very deliberately and slowly; I work quickly and move fast.  In the past, because of our differing speeds, we have needed to work separately in the kitchen.  With this arrangement we can both cook and clean up without tripping over one another.


Finding the perfect spot for life's collections is not always easy, and some are needing to find new homes.  The masks, however, are now reigning over the main living building.  Two more masks will be in the same peaks, but outside.