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Big Changes At The Estate

Another View

The Entry View

 

Well after enjoying our little cabin aka “Givens Grove” for four years, it is time to move on! We have sold our little getaway in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. We had many great times there and created wonderful memories with our friends who live up there and for the ones that made a visit. Our retirement plans have morphed into something different and it just wasn’t going to happen there. One of the reasons is being reliant on a ferry schedule that in some times of the year, isn’t too forgiving. I am sure if we had planted ourselves there full time we would have made the adjustment. Another reason….Island politics and attitudes……..didn’t mesh with ours, simple as that! Fun times and no regrets and now our search for our retirement location begins! Stay tuned!

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My Acting Debut

Well here it is, my first time ever on a stage, and performing a monologue to boot. A little back story first. Awhile back in late 2013, the San Juan Islands (where we have our cabin) experienced a phone and internet outage caused by a severed cable that lasted for ten days. You can read about here! My good friend, Kevin Hillstrom, a budding playwright wrote a play about the outage and poked a little fun at it. He asked me if I would star in it. I said sure although I have never acted before. It was to be performed during the Playwrights “On the Fringe” at the San Juan Community Theater. He went out on a limb with the theater director because I couldn’t come up for the rehearsals, she never met me until the day before the first show, had no idea how it would work, was worried because I was going to go off script and ad lib some of the lines, and the other actors were thinking Kevin was get some preferential treatment. But he managed to persuade her and emailed me the script and let me know where I could just ad lib and ramble within it. So after looking it over for a while, and putting my thespian hat on, here is the result below,  no real rehearsal and no real experience. I think we did a fine job. Thanks to Kevin for writing a great and funny script and Julie Laidlaw for allowing us to “wing it”.

Vacation 2013 Part II

Part two of our main vacation was not as fun, full of hard work, but very rewarding! After our big camping trip to Oregon and California, we cleaned up the trailer and then shot up to the Island cabin on San Juan Island to get the rest of the flooring done! We had to clear out all of the rooms of furniture before the installers showed up, that was the extent of our work. They installed and then we put the place back together! It turned out fantastic!! We couldn’t have picked a better color and type for the cabin. It also smells much better in there now that the old dank musty carpet is now out. Now we will turn to the bathroom flooring and the “Man Cave” out by the garage! Slowly we are turning our ugly duckling into a swan!

Island House Remodel Continues

Slowly but surely the Island house is transforming from a neglected residential shell to a comfy cared for home. A portion of the nasty, smelly, possibly original carpeting has been changed to a beautiful wood laminate flooring. Debbie and I did part of the labor by pulling up the old carpet and prepping the subfloor for the new flooring. It was a laborious and nasty job, but we saved money and felt it was worth despite the very hard work involved! While we did that, we decided to pull up the old linoleum in the kitchen. If it was easy, we would lay vinyl tile down, if not, hire someone! It turned out to come right up! Now came the task of measuring, cutting, and laying down self adhesive tile squares that neither of us had ever done. It turned out awesome for us first timers!!! Next up, comes carpeting the rest of the house in July. We are hiring that project out, but are going to be up there moving furniture and staging rooms while it is being done! One of these days, we can go up to relax and enjoying ourselves, but Debbie is currently cracking the whip! Also, we’d like to give big thanks and a shout out to Bob Nelson and his company San Juan Construction and Handyman for doing a great job on the flooring!!

Kitchen Floor Before

Kitchen Floor Before

Kitchen Floor After

Kitchen Floor After

The Old Nasty Carpet

The Old Nasty Carpet

Entry Area Before

Entry Area Before

Living Room/Hallway Before

Living Room/Hallway Before

Ripping Up Begins

Ripping Up Begins

Hallway Subfloor

Hallway Subfloor

The Last Bit Under Couch

The Last Bit Under Couch

Destroying Tile Entry

Destroying Tile Entry

Carpeting Gone!

Carpeting Gone!

Hallway After

Hallway After

Kitchen/Hallway Transition

Kitchen/Hallway Transition

Entry Area After

Entry Area After

Living Room/Hallway After

Living Room/Hallway After

Coming Together Nicely

Coming Together Nicely

Living Room After

Living Room After

San Juan Cabin Work In Progress

We have been working and a working on our little get away in the woods. Below are some before and after pictures of our handiwork so far!

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room Later

Living Room Latest

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Bathroom Before

Bath After

Bath Before

Bath After

Laundry Room Before

Laundry Room After

Laundry Room Before

Laundry Room After

Guest Bedroom Before

Guest Bedroom After

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom Later

Master Bedroom Latest

Main Bath Before

Main Bath After

Loft Before

Loft After

It’s Ours

Our beautiful cabin nestled in the woods of San Juan Island is now ours! We closed and got possession on March 16th and both are ecstatic! Buying this house was actually a complete surprise and totally unexpected. During New Year’s we were up on the island visiting our friends the Hillstom’s. We have known them for years having been fellow Packer Fans. They had lived out here in Snoqualmie Ridge near us before moving to San Juan Island where they had a second home and some waterfront on which they built their current and permanent home.

As we have mentioned in the past each time we go on vacation, we think about where we would like to retire. We have always liked Friday Harbor and San Juan Island and the only real disadvantage to living there is that the only way on or off is by ferry. You have to do off island shopping very carefully but it is no big deal! Anyway, we were visiting our friends and just happened to look around at some properties for sale and “stumbled” on this house that had been for sale for a while. We contacted a local agent whom we had met before and had him come open it up. It was adorable, although a bit dated. Deb and I silently glanced at each other realizing this was a deal the could not be passed up. We went home talked things over and made an offer. After some back and forth with the seller, an agreement was reached and that’s were we have been the last two months, home purchasing paperwork!

Now that it is ours, the fun stuff begins! Debbie has been shopping for furnishings and looking at ideas on how to decorate. It will be a slow process of updating or “cabin in the woods” and that is okay. We won’t be living there fulltime, so there is no hurry. The house has good bones and is in really great shape. Just needs some TLC and modernization. We bought some items from the seller’s estate sale so we will have some beds and some furnishings to begin with. We will be also bringing things from the house that we can do without. It will be a lot of work but a definite fun project. We will try and remember to do before and after pictures as things progress. Debbie is in seventh heaven right now. As soon as some sprucing is done, guests are expected, so come see us!

WELCOME TO OUR CABIN IN THE WOODS!

Winter Has Arrived

Finally we are looking at a wintry wonderland for the first time this season. It would have been nice if this had happened at Christmas and up until just now, we have had a very uneventful winter this year! La Nina didn’t sock us into multiple snow storms like last year and I am kind of glad because I am driving articulated buses now and they are horrible in ice and snow. This wintry weather is supposed to last the next four days and I am not looking forward to going to work tomorrow!

Our Holidays were nice. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house and our friends Larry & Lynette hosted Christmas. So it was a family affair on both occasions. For New Year’s we headed up to our long time friends the Hillstroms in their brand new home on San Juan Island. They have a beautiful waterfront home overlooking the sound. We have always loved the San Juan’s and Friday Harbor and have thought about maybe retiring there among the other places that we consider. Well we have taken the first step into making that possibility a reality. We were walking about and found a wonderful smaller home we are calling “the cabin” for sale. We contacted a realtor we know there and had him come open it up and show us. We decided it was a deal we couldn’t pass up and made an offer a few days later after we returned home. After some offer counter offer volley, we came to an agreement with the seller and are now moving through the financing process. Until we have the keys in our hot hands, I hold off on providing the details until later but we are very excited!! I am also working on possibly what will start out as a side career that I am hoping flourishes into something I can do full-time! Again, I’ll hold off on the details until I get a better idea on how it is going to work out but I think 2012 is going to be a great year…..(knocking on wood)!

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