Friday, July 20, 2012

Sort Of Like A Museum Of Crap...

So I was chatting with a friend about our little cottage and all the quirky contents, and she said 'Despite the clutter the cottage sounds fun.  Sort of like a museum of crap!'  which got me thinking, and today we've taken some pictures to show you what we've been sharing the last 2 weeks with. 
There are some fun things, like this hollowed out section of tree outside, where people have collected their favourite treasures from the beach. 

There are some quirky friends, like these 8" high penguins on the mantle shelf.
Then there's the video collection, of which this is just one shelf.  2 copies of Fargo??? 

"We have left some shelves and cabinets free for you to put your own things..."


Where exactly?
We kept most of our clothes in the suitcases, and our food on the kitchen counter, there was no cabinet space to put anything. 

This is Brian's favourite drawer, he found all sorts of useful man-things in here! 

Did you forget your glasses?  There are 6 pairs in here, maybe one of them will work for you...
That deck of cards was one of many, at least 15, all wrapped in elastic bands. 

Then there are a few things that are just a bit strange....

anatomy of a hand? 
Boxing Gloves? 

A 'loft'?  I think this was rather extravagantly advertised - it's barely 15 inches high, not long enough for a teenager, and rather claustrophobic!  The ladder to reach it has to be propped against the bed that it shares the room with and is a bit of a precarious climb.  I'm not sure it should have been advertised as 'a bed', really, but it gave us somewhere to store the excess cushions from the beds and couches!!! 
not sure if the 'plant' is real or fake, but the apple is definitely not the real thing - what use one might have for a silver apple, I am not sure...

At first glance, the top of the bookcase seems to just have more clutter, of a boating variety, but a closer look revealed this...

The boat is balanced on the stand, with a weight, so it actually rows - super cool! 

Windows are a good place to put things, too, apparently - although we felt they obscured both the light and the view! 
 There are lots and lots of pictures on the walls, and some under Caity's bed, too, just in case they should find themselves running low! 
A seagull with her baby - just like the 'fuzzy rocks' that hatch outside Brian's office. 
 There are curiosities like this lamp...
Do you think she knows she has a table lamp growing out of her head? 
 and these felted rocks.  They're heavy, they actually DO have rocks inside - now I love yarn, and felting, but I love rocks too, and I'm not sure that their natural beauty is enhanced when they are wearing 'rock cosies'. 
Fuzzy rocks!!!!!  And a felted bird!  My yarny home!!!
It's been an adventure, that's for sure.  I have more pictures to share, of the outside, it's been quite a day for weather!  But for now, I'm off to make a cup of tea and enjoy our last evening. 

Flying by...

A whole week has gone by, so fast!  Last Saturday I went back home, and spent the weekend with the pets and Netflix and the spinning wheel, which was great.  I caught up the laundry, watered the plants, enjoyed the quiet.  On Monday I came back up here to Camano and spent the day with the family.  Bri and Caity went swimming,

and we went for a walk along the beach, and took a picnic, which we ate sitting on a long in a sunny spot

Look at the camera everyone...

or not!

okay, whatever, I'm just going to take pictures anyway! 

- this turned out to have not been quite as well planned as I thought because Bri had his tides backwards, so the tide was heading IN, not OUT, and we came back OVER all the fallen trees and driftwood, which Becca absolutely loved! 

Caity had some fun with a deck of cards...

We could tell that Daddy was here because the house was suddenly more techy than it had been before!

On Thursday night we had a really big thunderstorm, lightning went on for hours and hours, and it was still raining when I woke at about 7 on Friday morning.  I wasn't too pleased to be awake that early, since I'd only had a couple of hours sleep, but it was worth the early awakening to find this friend outside...

It's grey and chilly, I sent the girls back to bed to sleep some more now that it's quiet, I wonder what today will bring...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday


Today my body has figured out that it's on vacation, and I am TIRED!

This is like the first few days after Becca finished finals - she was fine for a while and then she crashed, exhausted and spent.  It's been a lovely day but both girls have been mothering me this evening, so I'm assuming I look pretty bad right now and I'm tucked up in bed with laptop, book, and knitting.  The girls have gone off upstairs to play cards, listen to music, and giggle quietly! 

We took a longer walk on the beach today, after a slow morning in which I spun some yarn, and Becca made pancakes.  We took off a little before 3, thinking that we had about 90 minutes to walk, and then 90 to get back before the tide started to rise significantly and we ran the risk of being cut off from the path home.  In the end, we didn't get nearly as far as we planned, because we stopped to chat to Ladybug the sausage dog and her owners, and then we stopped so the girls could climb on a fallen tree and admire the view from 8ft up in the air. 

Then we stopped so that Becca could go exploring in a quiet little hideaway under a fallen tree that is still in full leaf.  And when our 90 minutes were up and we turned to come home, we discovered that the return journey took a mere 30 minutes!  It was still lovely, and we found some excellent sea life under the seaweedy rocks. 

Becca found mussels growing all over the place, tucked in tree trunks, against rocks, there were thousands of them. 

This made us look a little closer, and we found limpets, teeny tiny black whelks, and soft crabs lurking underneath the rocks. 


Today was a quiet, at-home sort of a day.  We read a lot, played cards a lot, ate a lot, and I did a fair bit of spinning.  The girls spent a couple of hours on the beach in the late afternoon sun, reading and chatting and trying to find some stone skipping skills to show off to their Dad when he arrives for the weekend!  It's a very different experience being on vacation with the girls, compared to being at home with them.  For some reason the change of venue has chilled us all down a lot and we're happy just hanging out and being together. 


Today was a big trip out day, we drove up to Fairhaven and then on to Bellingham.  There was lots of fun to be had in Fairhaven, it's a beautiful little town with a pottery, a glassworks, and a woodshop to visit, where local artisans have space to display and offer for sale their work.  It's lovely to see all the different styles of work and we were lucky to have time to wander around and appreciate all of the pretty things.  We had lunch in a London Double Decker Bus, which was a rare treat - fish and chips, at that!  Bellinghan was reaching the end of its day by the time we got there, but we enjoyed the waterfront - Bellingham Bay is beautiful, especially when the sun is out...

I tried to see if Johnny Depp was in this great pirate-ish looking rigger, but he must have been sleeping off the rum below decks! 

There was some sort of race going on here but we couldn't make out who was winning! 

and the chocolate shop, and then drove the scenic route home, down Chuckanut Drive. 


Today was a very very strange day.  I was woken at about 8 by a HUGE clap of thunder, and cleared space in my bed for the daughter I knew would be along shortly.  Both of them arrived a few minutes later, and since we were all awake we had some breakfast and pulled all the chairs up to the windows so that we could watch the show - it was quite spectacular. 

This part of the world does not often get thunderstorms, and so when they do happen, they are big news.  Today was no exception, everyone was talking about it, and everyone was watching.  We even had rain for a while - first day this vacation that it hasn't been bright and sunny all day long. 

We did a little housetidying, played a LOT of cards, and ate a yummy salad for lunch, and then we put ribs in the oven to cook long and slow, and we played more cards as we waited for Dad to arrive.  His journey was long, the weather and the Friday afternoon traffic conspired to add an hour to his journey, but he was here in time for dinner, and got a walk along the beach after dinner with the girls.  They took some video of the lightning, which is still decorating the sky to the north of us, 15 hours after it started! 

I'm heading home tomorrow, to feed the pets, do some laundry, water the plants (all the veggies and container plants are needing daily watering in the heat that home is experiencing since we left), and I'm hoping to get in some quiet spinning and knitting time, too.  I'll be back on Sunday evening/Monday morning to spend next week with the girls while Dad goes back to work.  we had initially planned to bring the pets here for Dads long weekend but the cottage is so small that we don't know where we could put them and not be tripping over them, so they've stayed home in the air conditioning, which is probably better than being here in the storms anyway! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


It's been a lovely day, if a little weird.  Our link to the outside world was expected to be a little tenuous, and indeed it was, but not in the way we expected! 

We woke expecting to have no electricity, as per the sign at the end of the road announcing the 'scheduled outage from 8 til 2' today.  When it got to 11am and we still had a light on, I put a loaf of bread on and said a quick prayer to the Goddess of Yummy Lunches, asking that 2 hours might elapse without any disturbance to our dear and beloved bread maker.

We had a late breakfast, because we all slept til around 10, (I confess I got up at 7 and opened the door so I could hear the waves crashing on the wall, it was high tide, and then I fell back asleep listening) 

and then we lazed around in the sun reading books.  Late afternoon we decided we were hungry so we made a spot of lunch, and then we lazed around, reading books.  Then we played a game called Hoopla, which is one of those great Cranium games that are always fun, and we laughed a lot, and at about 8 we realised we'd had no dinner, so we fried some sausages and mashed some potatoes and listened to some cd's that are stacked in the cabinet here.  I educated the girls on the loveliness that is The Mills Brothers, and then we caught a few tracks of Glenn Miller, a little Simon and Garfunkel (the cd is badly scratched after track 4, very disappointing) and on to Nat King Cole.

As I stood in the kitchen moving potatoes around in the pan with my hands to get them all under the water, singing along to the Mills Bros, I suddenly realised that I was living my Nan's life, she used to do the exact same thing - it was lovely to remember her so suddenly.

After dinner, we lazed around and read books, fought with the dodgy internet, took pictures of the obviously broken connector and sent them to Dad so that he might figure out how to fix it, and eventually discovered a way to prop up the ethernet wire so that it connects with the circuit board, but I mustn't nudge the table otherwise it goes off again!  Just another of the many quirks in this cottage!

I think that my shoulder needs a little after sun, I think the slightly heavier breeze today made the sun less noticeable on my skin, but I can feel it now!  And it's probably time to sleep soon, too, after I find out what happens to Delia in my book!  Tomorrow we might even go for a walk!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Winners and more winners

It's our first whole day on Camano, and we woke early to watch the Wimbledon Singles Final for the men.  Roger Federer was after his 7th victory and Andy Murray was seeking the first British win for many decades. 

It was excellent sport, we cheered for both men because they both played the game of their lives, but in the end only one gets to hold the trophy. 

Andy Murray was tearful, sad to have disappointed those who have cheered him on for so long - but we could see only winners today, two great athletes who devote their time and energy into being the best they can be at what they do.  If only there were more people in the world who held that devotion, that determination, that spirit, in themselves, just think what the world might look like. 

Our own little world looks like we have not a single care, and it feels that way, too.  I sat upstairs on the deck with my spinning for an hour this morning, working with some beautiful polwarth/silk fiber in delicious shades of purple and blue - look...

It will be yarn in a few days, how many days depends largely on how many naps I take!  ;-)  

After a quick shower in the teeny tiny bathroom we headed out to get a few groceries - we had brought the bread machine with us to bake fresh bread each day but forgot the yeast, and the cottage could use a conversation with some Clorox wipes, so we drove off island and went to Stanwood.  We added french bread, pastrami, doughnuts, icecream, and various chocolate items to the needed purchases, and ate the bread and pastrami on the way home, driving through the tree-lined lanes in the quiet of the early afternoon.

The people are lovely - the lad stocking the freezers in the grocery store asked if we minded him pushing his cart in front of us, as we were browsing and he had places to be.  And the lady I stepped backwards and got in the way of waved off my apology and was sorry for having rushed me!  

Now we're having a little post-lunch quiet time, Caity is lost in a book, Becca is busy writing, and I'm here with you, catching you up on the day so far.  The tide hit its lowest about 90 minutes ago, so we're going to go for our walk in a bit, planning to be back by six to ensure that we don't get stranded up a tree!  Caitlin is making burgers for dinner, I've put the dough on for buns, and then we'll knit and read and chat until we're too tired to stay awake any more. 

In Search Of Rest...

We are on holiday!  By 'we' I mean the girls and I, and by 'holiday' I mean tucked up in a little cabin on the waterfront on Camano Island.  It's bliss!  There were a few little settling in issues, but we're all straight now, and it's going to be lovely!

This is 20 feet from our front door!  Becca put a stick in the ground to mark the water level - but by the time we came back an hour later it had been washed away by the speeding water!  

We arrived at 4pm today to find the tide on the way in and the pretty pebbles getting a wash.  We didn't even check out the cabin, we went straight down the boat ramp to see the view...

It's really rather pretty!
We turned around from the water, and saw this...

Home sweet teeny tiny home, for the next 2 weeks!
It's a lot smaller than we thought it would be from the pictures, and it is FULL of stuff.  There is not enough space in the kitchen cabinets to store a box of pasta or a sachet of KoolAid (not that we drink KoolAid, but you know what I mean) it is CRAMMED full of stuff, all sorts of stuff, most of it of little use.

We have emptied the bathroom cabinets of their stuff so that we can put our stuff in there, because otherwise we'd be carrying our shower gel to the bathroom every day, which seems silly - but then we had the problem of where to put the displaced stuff, so it's been shoe-horned into a book case in the sitting room, which is doubling as my bedroom because the 'double room with loft' turned out to be the worlds smallest double bed with a twin mattress crammed onto a shelf above the staircase!  Rebecca LOVES little spaces, secret nests, corners, fun little places, but this was just NOT going to work - she is over 5 feet tall, for a start - she wouldn't even be able to sit up up there, and there's no room for her books, either, which is a disaster in itself!  So she has one bedroom, Caity has the other, and I am sleeping down here, on an IKEA pull out which seems quite comfy.

Every shelf in the place is stuffed with books, cd's, dvds and videos.  There is nowhere to put our own books, and even the dresser drawers are filled with Other People's Things!  It's very odd, and not terribly welcoming, although others who have stayed here have thought it marvellous that they didn't need to bring their own shower gel because Somebody Else's shower gel was in the shower ready and waiting for them - yick!

But we've made a little space for ourselves and our things, and we've covered up the stained couch with a huge IKEA comforter and now it's much more welcoming, and we went for a walk and found...

...a place for Becca to sit and read.

that the tide comes in really quite fast - this was passable when we left and only climbable when we returned less than an hour later!

and that there are really rather a LOT of things to climb on around here! 
The walk was wonderful, there are agates galore in the beach pebbles, Caity and I came home with handfuls of rocks and pretty pretty shells.  We made ourselves some nachos for dinner and then sat around reading and chatting, and I went out to watch the fireworks in the dark, although they were really too far away to be any fun.  It was a beautiful evening, cooler than the day but not cold, just 'eveningish'.  It's SO quiet here, I love it!

This is the view from the front porch, over the flowers and down to the water - the tide comes all the way up to the bottom of that little boat ramp, and the water is moving very very fast - no swimming for us!  After dark I could see the crab boats moored out in the water, silhouetted by the distant lights of the nearest town.  

I spent the evening mending the holes under the toes of 2 pairs of felted slippers so that Caity and I have something for our feet - the floors are wood and a bit chilly at times.  We had a chat with Dad over Skype, and now the girls are tucked up in their beds and I am enjoying a little quiet before I call it a night, too.  Becca and I are planning to get up at 6 to watch the Wimbledon Tennis Final - I'll be cheering on Andy Murray, but Becca is not yet sure where her allegiance will lie, she has been a Federer fan for a long time now!

Sweet dreams, I wish you could hear the water lapping on the pebbles, it's very restful x

P.S.  I miss Connie - there is no Aga in the kitchen here!