Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lunch stop at Book Fare - Eat, drink, and be literary

A perfect timeout on a rainy day, particularly when you're looking for an excuse to grab either a bite to eat or an espresso, and would rather have both, is to stop by Book Fare Cafe on the top floor of Fairhaven's Village Books.   
This pet-friendly coffee shop is ideal for Casey, working patrons for ear rubs and waitresses for treats, while I finish off a tomato bisque and an Americano.

Oh, he's good. There's no way he's going to let me off the hook for sharing something...like the molasses cookie I was saving for dessert.

But I'm not buying that gaze this time around, knowing full well that he just scored a couple of dog biscuits in a saucer from our server.

Oh, he's good.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Preschool comic relief

2-year-old Silas and 5-year-old Kaya
Grandkids Silas and Kaya (with mom and pop) were a welcome break from two days of literally moving back into the house and attempting to come up with some semblance of order after the flooring project. We really think though they were just as impressed with a spin on an office chair as they were with the rustic red oak.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just shy of crimson, but worth the wait

The first cloud breaks all day just edged out a crimson sunset in the middle of a walk around the neighborhood.


Payback for rainy and cool all day.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Number 24 in overload

At 11:05 this morning we were hoping to be on the MV Sealth and home by 1 this afternoon. But taking one's sweet time at breakfast and putzing around while packing sometimes ensures that you'll be number 24 in the overload line and likely to be hanging around for lunch in Friday Harbor. Next eastbound ferry - 1:55 pm.


The Sealth leaving without us...but we've been stuck in far worse places.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving getaway

With decades of preparing family Thanksgiving repasts under our belt, we formally retired from peeling and basting, carving and slicing - and cleanup - three years ago. Instead, we decided then to escape the tryptophan ODs and spend the long holiday weekend in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Steeped in history, this island is located in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Archipelago and as far away from the chaos of Black Friday commercialism as we could get on short notice.

This new family tradition includes a ferry ride across Puget Sound to our island getaway, the Tucker House Inn Bed and Breakfast, one of two 1898 Victorians just a couple of blocks from the shops and cafes of downtown.

After checking in on Wednesday we were free to roam the island, with Casey usually leading the way, knowing full well that our focus event is the Thanksgiving spread at the Coho Restaurant on Thursday night. The Tuckerhouse inn keepers are the owners of the Coho, and the meals they prepare on this holiday are always memorable.   

This Thanksgiving menu openers included a mixed island green salad with goat cheese, roasted pumpkin soup, assorted breads - herb and sweet potato biscuits, brioche and rosemary olive - Dunginess crab cakes and wild mushroom croquettes, all leading up to entrees of smoked turkey breast and turkey leg confit.


Still in a reasonable condition to walk back to the inn, the dessert that we chose to top off the meal was a couple of slices of bourbon chocolate pecan pie that tasted like venal sin - a confection that we'll be thinking about until next year - because, oh yes, there will definitely be another serving of this Thanksgiving getaway.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Late night time out

After a hours of making themselves scarce around David and Dan Gallant and the last of the flooring project, Stella and Casey finally called it quits and seem to have adjusted OK to the finished project.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It was so cold...

Our first winter cold snap is finally ebbing but today it managed to get everyone's attention with wind gusts over 60 mph last night and wind chills in low crisp single digits this afternoon. Perfect weather conditions for just hanging around the house, only relenting briefly - very briefly - for a front yard toss.

Sunny and way below freezing just can't be that good for the Frisbee-obsessed, so Casey had to settle for a quick 10 for 10 before we called it quits...for his own good.

Wrapping it up

After a weekend of stepping over and around furniture and pets the final touches on the new floor - molding and trim mostly - were completed, and then fine-tuned. And after every planned square foot was in place we found that we had enough oak left to finish off a small bedroom that we use as a den and computer room. So that's the plan, but not just yet. First a breather - at least a couple of days.

In the meantime...acclimate, move furnishings, find Stella. And get out of the house. 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baby, it's still cold outside

No change in our below freezing temperatures, with even a chance of snow flurries for the next couple of days - and someone couldn't be happier.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First snow

Waking to 4 or 5 inches of snow today is making Casey's day. Not entirely a surprise and not slated to be hanging around long with warmer temperatures a couple of days away, it does make us wonder if this blanket of snow is a precurser to the "Mother of All Winters" Bellinghamsters have been talking about for weeks. If the 2010 Farmers Almanac is your thing, cool yet normal conditions are on tap. Meteorologists at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center are expecting cooler-than-normal temperatures. Take your pick.

In the meantime, our guy thinks snowfalls are just for Border Collies and that this one fell just for him.

TGIF and back to normal...sort of

On Thursday, three days into the oak flooring project we got our first glimpse of some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. And it couldn't come soon enough with most of our furniture and belongings stacked in the spare bedrooms.

On Friday, the kitchen floor and hall were a wrap with nothing but touchup and trim left for next week.

Normal...just around the corner.

Did we say normal?  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looks like a mixed bag of weather

With temperatures dipping into the 30s tonight, along with a Northeasterly flow out of British Columbia's Frasier River Canyon, who knows...at least snow showers tonight.

Sunday and Monday, with temps in the 20s at night, could be interesting with some accumulations of snow in the lowlands. Casey will be ecstatic for a day.

Looking Northwest, you'd think conditions could be more like "anything goes" tonight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rustic red oak hardwood flooring installation - Day 2

Today, by our second cup of coffee, the first plank of our new flooring was laid. From the first nail until the end of the day Stella was nowhere to be found, with Casey oblivious to the noise.

David and Dan Gallant of Gallant Design and Construction, our favorite Progressive contractors, knocked out the living room and part of the sunroom today, sound suppression padding included. 

Man, they do good work and didn't seem any worse for the wear when they left. We would have needed traction and heavy anti-inflammatories by days end.

Our big contribution to this effort tomorrow is to go on a quest for the perfect trim molding. Hey, we can handle that. And from the looks of things - two more days to completion and Stella keeping a low profile until then.


Casey seems to have adjusted nicely.

Last snooze on the wall-to-wall

It looks like our guy had a long, tough day today. Not really - just a power nap at the end of one of his hyper-evenings. With all day rain and wind putting the kibosh on Casey's outdoor activities, we usually pay for it at night with attention-getting antics like "hall ball" and tugs-of-war with almost anything within reach. But even Border Collie youngsters shut down eventually. Thank God.

This particular nap though was kind of special - his last one on his living room wall-to-wall carpeting. Tomorrow the long-overdue installation of hardwood flooring begins...first thing in the morning.

Casey'll be just fine.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday drive-thru treat

On a lazy, drizzly day like today, a perfect diversion is a caffeine
run to our favorite drive-thru espresso, Cruisin’ Coffee.

Of course the only reason for these trips, as far as Casey’s concerned, is so he can score a dog biscuit hand-out from a kindly barista.

We're usually hoping his Pavlov response, triggered as soon as Cruisin’ comes into sight, doesn’t require a towel wipe-down.

Forget the double tall mochas, it’s all about the treat. But do you get the impression that this newby is not quite sure what to expect from our gentle guy? 

She'll know better next time...and maybe have two ready. They're not that tough to break in.