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Category Archive: Home

Sleep, Creep, and Leap

Sleep, Creep, and Leap

Two summers ago, just after moving in, I planted the garden with hope for the future. Just wait, I thought, in the summer of 2023, the garden will be bursting with color, fragrance, and life. I couldn’t wait.
The summer of 2023 just passed and I’m not sure my hopefulness in 2021 was warranted.

Anatomy of a Speed Run

Anatomy of a Speed Run

The longer we live on Orcas Island, and at the mercy of ferries, the more we learn to optimize. It’s normal to visit the mainland as a day trip. You take an hour-long ferry ride over, run errands, and come back on the ferry. The question becomes: what can you get done between ferries? If you plan poorly, you might waste hours waiting for the next ferry. This is where optimization matters most.

The Wood Shed

The Wood Shed

This put me on a course to making the most of our wood and one big idea stood out: we needed a wood shed. Firewood burns hotter and cleaner when it’s dry and dry wood comes from wood that can breathe. That’s why it was weird to keep it in the garage. By being out in the elements, it could naturally release moisture or “season”. In fact, rain isn’t a big problem as long as moisture isn’t trapped where it can create mold and decay.

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

I plan on the transition each year, and for now, I wait and watch for signs of change. The weather models are unsure of what will happen. It’s like the dry PNW summer is battling the north pacific currents trying to push into Washington for the winter. Forecasts this time of year often say there is a 58% chance of rain, which is frustratingly noncommittal. They might as well admit they have no idea.

Roots

Roots

Part of what has gripped me about the garden is the combination of permanence and change. The sumac tree may be here in twenty years, but it will have changed constantly in that time. Every day, I can inspect it and notice the little things. I can see it in different colors as the seasons change. 

Smart Rowing

Smart Rowing

The Hydrow machine arrived eleven weeks ago and the results are in: I’ve found my exercise. Since it arrived, I’ve used the rowing machine at least 5 days a week and the Hydrow app even more. For the first time in my life, I actually look forward to workouts and feel confident that I’ll continue to do so. It’s become a habit.

I Believe (in Build Livable)

I Believe (in Build Livable)

Today, I feel like I’m on the right track and learning as I go. I’ve been able to address most of what I wanted to do, but there are always going to be ways to improve (like using a dSLR camera). My goal right now is to look professional without spending thousands of dollars.

Permanence and Permaculture

Permanence and Permaculture

That evening the rain arrived on time and I heard the now-familiar pitter-patter of it on our skylights and metal roof. I had been anticipating it all summer and wondered how the rain would sound, especially at night when it’s time to sleep. Listening that night, I thought about permanence and entropy. Try as we might to establish wetlands, gardens, and homes to be permanent, the universe eventually has its way with human projects.

Lee Night

Lee Night

The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. Sachi’s parents arrived on the red-eye from Hawaii and she went down for a quick overnight trip to pick them up. This set me up for my first “Lee” night (a night alone) in the new house. This...

I Can Recommend… Meat Thermometer Edition

I Can Recommend… Meat Thermometer Edition

I realize some may scoff at the use of a thermometer when a "real" chef can just feel when meat is up to temperature. I prefer data. I use meat thermometers near the end of the cooking process and place the probe into the meat and leave it there until it reaches...

The Time Between Glass and Mirror

The Time Between Glass and Mirror

I soon came to appreciate the glass wall as a feature of the house that exists in multiple states. During the day, it disappears and reveals a view over the Salish Sea, as it was designed to do. But at night, when darkness hides the view, the glass becomes a mirror to the interior. One minute you’re looking at the water, another you’re looking at yourself. I think of this as the time between glass and mirror.

SMASHBURGER!

SMASHBURGER!

Every once in a while, you come across a dish that seems to defy the laws of cuisine; something so simple that it has no right to be as good as it is. The dish I’m referring to now is SMASHBURGER! (Yes, I’m yelling, it’s required.)