August 2006
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Day August 12, 2006

Unpacking at the new place…

I’m getting unpacked at the new house and have almost finished the kitchen and other essentials.  Putting up bookshelves and attacking the massive stacks of book boxes will have to wait just a bit,Dsc_0062
because the electrical & network wiring guys haven’t finished their work yet.  After a brief flurry of activity while I was doing the move in Seattle, they’re nowhere to be seen (again). 

Much of the rest of my "home improvement" project list is done at this point — "creative" paint jobs are gone, in favor of a Linen White with bright white trim (accent walls to be chosen later after I get a sense of how furniture and the rug collection fits); the deck is complete, roof replaced with a nice forest green metal roof, crawl space and undercarriage of the house has been cleaned out, insect sprayed, and re-insulated in spots, and a nice bamboo hardwood floor installed in the guest bedroom.  Pretty much all that’s left is minor touch-up painting, some cabinet touch-up in the kitchen, replacement of the chimney for the wood stove, and of course the darned electrical and network wiring.

Because of the latter, I’m currently without TV and haven’t really set up my other computers yet.  I expect that happen in a week or so.  Then I can set up a working environment and unpack some office stuff.  Office furniture doesn’t arrive until the end of the month or so, because like much furniture, they don’t really build it until you order it.  The upshot is that I figure mid-September will be about when I’ll be fully unpacked and have access to whatever I’m trying to find.   

I need to find a dining room light fixture — there’s a spot for installation and the wiring’s all there but the previous owner took her antique chandelier (which she told me about, it’s not a problem), but I haven’t had time to find a new one yet.  Next time I’m in Seattle I’ll find something, before it starts getting dark early. 

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Went to the farmer’s market again today, and picked up a wide assortment of produce, including some terrific "torpedo" red onions, ultra-fresh cabbages, shallots, heirloom tomatoes in five varieties, potatoes, heirloom carrots, fresh salad greens, green beans, and basil, all from Waldron Island except for the potatoes and tomatoes, which were grown here on San Juan.  I also picked up fresh sockeye salmon fillet, and tomorrow night I’ll likely do a shallot preparation on the grill with roasted potatoes and a salad. 

I also pre-ordered pickling cucumbers from Nootka Rose Farm on Waldron, along with fresh dill heads.  They’ll be picking ’em for next Saturday’s market, and I’ll have 10 pounds to pickle shortly thereafter.  I’ll probably also do a big batch of pickled green beans at the same time.   

After a couple of days of drizzly, slightly rainy weather, clear skies and beautiful sunsets arrivedDsc_0058
again yesterday, and I spent much of last evening sitting on the deck with a glass of Chablis (2002 Servin Les Pargues), a dish of olives, and two books:  Nigel Slater’s "The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen" (not published in the USA yet but available now from Amazon UK), and a book of essays on Richard Rorty’s work:  "Rorty and His Critics (Philosophy and Their Critics)" Both are fascinating, and I ended up reading until the last light of sunset disappeared (outdoor lighting on the deck is another project, but my electrician claims it’s a tough one because of the solid walls on the north face of the house). 

Now that I’ve got the kitchen unpacked, dinner was a brown rice stir fry of fresh vegetables and chicken marinated in chili sauce, soy, and a hint of star anise.  I’d set up the wok stand burner on the new deck, and the whole thing was a pleasure — prep work in the new kitchen to stir frying on the deck.  I wish there was an easy way to put a partial roof on part of the deck so I can keep doing this all year, but maybe next year.  At the moment I’m ready for projects and contractors to be finished so I can begin to build a "routine" here on the island.