26 February 2015

Snapshot Status Report


It's not an actual masonry chimney, but the corner pieces are actual corner pieces!


Two pictures of our Wallingford House, staged for sale, as of this afternoon. (!)

Looks like a nice place, eh? 

09 February 2015

Poultry, briefly updated

Mom commented to me yesterday that I had not, at least, described myself as a "chicken with its head cut off". That's true--I am not completely directionless, nor am I spewing geysers of blood indiscriminately around the house.

Which, at this stage, is DEFINITELY a good thing.

08 February 2015


In these final hours in the Wallingford House I have become a hen, where my abilities are largely of two sorts: inefficient pecking; and ruffled-feather, flustered, squawking hyperbole.

I know it will end, and I know there are still things to be done that I will be glad to have done, but I can't seem to get on track.

I am as effective as a chicken.

The packers come in 36 hours.

06 February 2015

Best Intentions

This is one evening recently in Hogan House, after Ian had gone back to Seattle. Just came upon it now in Blogger's green room, where it was languishing because it did not, actually, work one-fingered on my phone, as it says at the bottom. The pictures were too much for it. 

I thought some sort of porridge would be good, and Ian had bought this complete protein grain and legume cereal mix, to snack on at the Dacha, but he hadn't taken it down before leaving. It had instructions for cooking (heat, with soy or almond milk and water), and I had some raisins and I . . . I paused and considered, and I thought, what are all those grains, etc, anyway? And then I saw that they included lentils. I thought of the mealy texture of lentils, and the sweet nature of porridge, particularly as I was envisioning it, and my digestive tract paused its habitual gurgle. 

I considered a moment, then decided that, for primarily moral reasons, I would go ahead as planned and cook this lentil porridge that was so nourishing and complete. 

I measured and poured, cereal and cow's milk (note: not a milk on the recommended list).  Hogan House is well-stocked with small sauce pans (if not teaspoons), which is nice as you cycle through them. It is particularly not nice when you remember that Hogan House is not well-stocked with dishwashers, especially with one of them--the preferred one--back in Seattle. But I was in the well-stocked phase, so the issue of saucepans didn't come up. 

As the porridge warmed and began thickly to simmer, I tasted, then put in a little more sugar and cinnamon, and another toss of raisins. The sense that I was throwing good raisins and sugar and cinnamon after bad was subtle enough that I could elbow it out of the way. 

When the porridge was finished, I ladled myself a bowl and made myself comfortable on the sofa in the living room. I took a tentative bite. 

I managed to worry down, with increasing difficulty, about 6 spoonsful. Each spoonful tasted more like lentils. Each spoonful felt more like lentils--warm, creamy, raisiny, cinnamony, lentils. I finally had to admit defeat--I had created a culinary disaster. Even my moral sense agreed. I put the bowl back in the kitchen and found a suitable replacement. I did not feel guilty throwing the porridge out the next day, when I found its congealed mass still in the bowl on the counter from the night before. 

That's what I'm talkin' about! Cocoa Krispies with VITAMIN D! And milk with VITAMIN D! Take that, Ezekiel!!! (oh, boy was it tasty)

one-fingered on my phone

04 February 2015


I know, I know--this was from the last post. But it's still pretty representative. 

Boy howdy, things are swirling around here in Wallingford in a maelstrom of dog beds, toiletries, laundry, hake, dentists, friends, last meals, repairs, tiles, laughter, trash, boxes, valuables, fruit in all stages of ripeness (and beyond), keepsakes, tears, fixtures, appliances, and, although it's becoming cliche it's still true: a billion other details. The one thing notably not swirling around is our mail. Before heading up to Orcas with our core desirables a couple weeks ago, I officially forwarded our mail to our new post office in Eastsound (PO BOX 3, 98245, if you're wanting to send us postcards), and very little of it arrived before the post office closed for the weekend on Friday--and I had to place a mail hold for the next three weeks. We may end up losing several weeks of mail, all told. I find myself feeling a surprising benignancy to the idea.

It's been strange to notice habits over the last two days here in Seattle that don't serve us anymore. In addition to having to stop myself from checking the porch for mail (actually, I still check at least once a day), I keep stepping out of the kitchen to play something on the piano, and being reminded, yet again, that it's on Orcas. I hadn't realized how much I really was playing it. We're sleeping on the pull-out couch in the basement because our mattresses and a Hollywood frame are on Orcas, but our usual bedframe and our dresser and bedside tables are upstairs . . . and some of our clothes are still in the dresser, but many more of them--including all my shirts--had been taken to Orcas and were dirty yesterday when I needed to get dressed and take Spackle to the vet. Ian, who has brought his dental care paraphernalia to the downstairs bathroom, just tried to open the framed mirror hanging on the wall to put his toothbrush away. It's a bounded chaos, at least, as far as chaos goes. We do find ourselves able to eat, sleep, and inch forward through the storm, breathlessly knitting loose threads into our lifeline.

For better or for worse, though, it'll all mostly be over in just a few short weeks. The movers will lade, the home coolers will celebrate, the cleaners and repairers will tidy and fix, the realtor will list, the buyer will buy, and just like that, our homes will be reduced to two; and the counties, islands, and even communities will be reduced to a blessed, quiet, slow-paced, salt-aired, nature-filled one.

Please enjoy the latest photos here! (note: I did some captions on these new ones!)