If you picture a Japanese village in your mind, you’re likely to imagine buildings with a dark brown or black appearance, with a lot of character. This appearance, comes, in part, from an ancient Japanese method of charring wood to make it more resilient. The final product is called “yakisugi” or “shou sugi ban”. The Japanese found that charring the wood gave a unique character made it last longer.
Category Archive: Orcas Island
Female Rufous Hummingbird (I Think) Since moving to Orcas, hummingbirds have become part of everyday life. Our neighbors all have flowers and feeders, so they buzz around like they own the place. I've never seen them so curious. They will come right up to your face...
When we started planning our house on Orcas Island, people often asked about our plans for a generator assuming we’d need one. For a while, we had the same assumption.
In the spring of 2017, Sachi and I became consumed with an idea. On a camping trip to Orcas Island, which is off the NW coast of Washington State, we started to ask serious questions about the future. While drinking wine from a box by a campfire, we first started to...
From the moment the word “walk” is mentioned, both dogs scurry about as whines become barks. For this reason, we have come to spell the word and ask one another if it’s time for a “w-a-l-k”.
Moving from Seattle to an island was a shock for a lot of reasons. One of the most interesting was learning to be more self-sufficient than we ever have.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, we had to reevaluate two of the biggest projects of our lives. This is how it felt at the time.
A walk to our construction site ends in seeing orca whales in the water in front of the house.
In the spring of 2020, we were quarantined because of Covid-19. This was our experience early in the pandemic.
On a windy afternoon, our dog disappeared into the woods hunting for deer. This is what happened and how it felt.
Ready for Rain at one year. A review of the events in 2019, as shared in the newsletter.
Sometimes the reality of living on an island taking ferries becomes very real. This is one of those times.
A look at a home construction project on Orcas Island, WA as the framing is being built.
One of our favorite hobbies since moving to Orcas Island is crabbing for Dungeness Crabs in the summer. This is how it works for us.
As the foundation was poured on the new house, I learned about concrete in construction and the history of lime production in the San Juan Islands.
The first big phase of the house building project was the foundation and starting then, the house took on a realistic form and shape.
A few notes on the house project and our plans, as is was coming together in 2019.
Moving to a small guesthouse took some getting-used-to. But over time it became home and we learned a number of ways to adjust.
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. I’ve planted trees like Japanese maples and fast-growing conifers at every house I’ve owned. I think of them as semi-permanent fixtures that slowly improve the property and provide shade, privacy,...
Our lives changed for the better when we bought a used Boston Whaler that allowed us to explore the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands.