Friday, February 20, 2009

Moving to the Condo Nasty

I found some of our old personal webpage stuff on my computer. The following is the story of our move from Whidbey Island (in Washington) to Sitka, Alaska in 2002.

The Beautiful Condo Nasty!
742 square feet of luxurious living!

After a year and a half of living in waterfront homes without a house payment, Jen had had enough! It was time to find an appropriate showplace for all of our (Jen's) fine stuff. The solution: the Condo Nasty in Sitka, Alaska! We bought the condo site (not a typo) unseen, although we did look at some email photos of it. We faxed an offer and sent a check, then started gathering all our (Jen's) possessions in a staging area. Sitka is a town of about 8,000 people located on Baranof island. There are no roads connecting it to anything (although it does have 14 miles of road). To get our (Jen's) stuff up to the condo we either had to fly it up, or put it on a barge and ship it up. We chose to barge it up and on a rainy Wednesday the container showed up at our staging area in Seattle. Jen looked at that huge shipping container and said, "It doesn't look very big!". We then rented the biggest U Haul truck we could find to fetch all our (Jen's) stuff from Whidbey Island. By the time the container arrived, we had looked at every furniture store in western Washington, as well as a few in California and Arizona. I had a hard time understanding why we needed to buy more furniture since we still had most of our stuff from the 1800 sq ft house. Since the condo was about half the size of the house, the math didn't' seem to add up. But the search and accumulation went on. Finally we had the new couch, the new chair, the new bed, the new dressers, the antique dresser, the new rugs, and the new futon ready to load into the container with all our old stuff. Jen couldn't sleep at night, looking at her sheet of paper with the condo's dimensions on it, thinking about colors and fabrics and where each piece of art would go.

The Container Arrives in Seattle!
Loading The Container.

I think it's full!

With the container packed to the brim and on it's way to the barge, Jen and I flew up to Sitka to close on the condo and do some painting. Now, I've done some painting in my time and my thinking was that an 800 sq ft two bedroom condo should take about half a day to prep and half a day to paint. You get 5 gallons of antique white flat latex, a couple rolls of tape, a roller and a brush and you're in business. I knew I was in trouble when we got to the condo and Jen pulled a fistful of color chips out of her bag and started taping them to walls. After several hours of staring at the paint chips we proceeded to the local paint store. Jen went up to the counter and asked if they had any Martha Steward Cowslip. (I slouched in the background and pretended I wasn't with her.) Jerry (the paintstore owner) said he didn't have any cowslip. I started to leave, but then he said that they could make it up. So we started off with sandstone in the living room, pebblestone in the entry, cowslip in the kitchen (but that was too cowslip so we repainted it in pale cowslip), pebblestone in the hallway, deep linen in the guest room, some sort of a green in the bathroom which then had to be repainted sort of a peach which is now going to be repainted something else, westport green in the bedroom, and all the trim is linen white. I won't bore you with the decision making process between flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, and satin! Thank God that the container arrived 5 days later so we could quit painting!

Before we started painting. I thought it looked good enough to just move in--what an idiot I am!

Is there any reason to paint this kitchen?

Oops--wrong color--let's try again--Jennifer--wake up--three days until the container gets here!

I think the pale cowslip is much more appropriate!

Are you sure this isn't Pink?

Do you like the way the sandstone and the pebblestone meet at the high tide line?

I didn't calculate it, but the interior volume of the container was close to the volume of the condo. We just started unpacking things and stacking them in the condo. We sent the container back the next day, but I still think we should have kept it as additional living area. We unloaded and unpacked and lugged and puffed. Most of the stuff at least fit through the doors, but our (Jen's) hutch was a problem. First we got it stuck in the front door. After unsticking it, we took it around to the back door. Once inside, it was so tall that we couldn't stand it up. We finally just pushed hard and the hutch was up and there was a little bald spot on the ceiling.Once we got the big heavy pieces in we started stacking boxes. And then of course Jen had to look at every piece of furniture in every possible place, which meant moving dozens of boxes just to be able to look at the new arrangement. "They were the best of times, they were the worst of times".

Oops--the container's here!

Jen moves her little hutch in all by herself!

Our luxurious kitchen!

Our spacious bedroom!

This is our guest room/freezer room--when can you come up?

There seems to be good water pressure in the shower!

So at this point (late April), we are almost unpacked. Here are a few photos of the condo as it is now and I will add more as we shovel the rest of the rooms out.

The tastfully repainted pale cowslip kitchen!

This is the dining room, even though we've only eaten at the table once in two months. It looks like a good place for my office if you ask me (nobody did).

This is our friend Bob. The first week we were here, Bob would land in the back yard every day to munch on frozen herring that the neighbors threw out for him. One day we saw him fly off with a loaf of bread in his talons and we haven't seen him since. (It looked like Wonder bread...)
One of these days we'll get something posted about the dreaded remodel that started about three years ago and is still going on......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

After The Snow Storm

Hi Friends,

We're still messing around figuring out how to post these blogs. Here are some photos from the winter storm we had last Wednesday with 12 inches of snow. We've had about 16 feet of snow now, mostly since Christmas.

Feral getting ready to head out into the snow.

Running the snowblower around the side of the house.

Getting ready to snow blow up the stairs to the deck.

Heading down to snow blow the dock (and shovel the skiff, kayaks, logs, and sailboat).

View from the dock after the sun came out.

Some of the crew cabins behind the shop.

Shoveling some of the snow build up off the shop roof.

On the other side of the shop, I was shoveling to clear snow so the roof could shed......and it did. Jen helped dig me out after a few minute delay to run get her camera.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Visit from the Coast Guard

Hi Friends,

Well, we're going to try this blog thing. As most of you know, we are caretaking this winter at the Baranof Wilderness Lodge in Warm Springs Bay. The bay is known as a local snow hole--we didn't get much snow early in the winter, but are now at about 16 feet. Today we have heavy rain (2" last night) and wind.

Last week the US Coast Guard buoy tender the Maple stopped by the bay. The Maple is 225 feet and they took a few days off in the middle of a trip repairing aids to navigation. Their second day here, we had 18" of snow, so they actually left early. They did bring some mail and groceries around for us.
Part of the crew stopped by the lodge for a visit.

The visibility came down and we got 18 inches of snow the second day of the Maple's visit. They actually ended up leaving early because of the weather.

Service with a smile--the Maple brought our mail and some groceries from Sitka.