With a lot of help from Aurora Quality Buildings,
Valarie and I have realized our dream to place a cozy vacation home on our 4 acre meadow near Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Thanks, also, to Mark McCutcheon for the ground prep, John Stevens for the foundation, and John Wilson for the electrical and plumbing to come. Oh, and the Wizards of Ooze for the portapotty! A special thanks to Diane Giesy of Remax for taking a risk and showing us a piece of land that was outside of our envelope and coming up with a perfect fit.

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Click here for the latest Photos-

Breaking News! - We've added a BARN!

Painted Finally!

Here's a little animation of the construction - it's a 380k file so be patient. It starts with the foundation black with asphalt emulsion. It ends with Val sitting on the deck steps for a moment and then it starts over.

Aurora crewmembers Erik, Micah and Jeff. Missing are Jake, Chris and James who pitched in for a couple of days. We can't say enough about these guys. Under Jeff's amazing guidance, these young men operate with amazing skill and grace. It was a sheer pleasure watching them make our dream a reality and we will remember them always. Thanks, also, to Roger at Aurora for guiding us through the paperwork and putting up with our endless questions. We still can't believe what you guys did in just 7 days.

"Hazmat" Val ready to apply the asphalt emulsion

Looking toward the Southern view

The endless sky

James takes aim

Building a roof in mid-air

The eastern side


The boatport :-)

Valarie watching the build

Is this what they mean by "Cathedral Ceiling"?

A zoomed view from the deck

Our own meadow crabapples - and the blackberries are to die for.

The rare "luminous pillar" effect from the road

A talisman left at 4th of July Beach

Our meadow's namesake



The latest photos...

Our Summer Project is almost Done!

Paul installed pavers so you no longer have to step out of the van into wet grass

Detail of the Pavers

The stones lining the walkway were all collected from the meadow
Those shrubs will get HUGE and eventually block the tank from view

Val has tiled the backsplash

Here's a close-up of the glass tiles. $100 in tiles from Home Depot

Kitchen Island

with chef

Taken just northwest of Lummi island

We were in the middle of a minor feeding frenzy were surrounded by several frisky orcas for about 5 minutes. They came VERY close to the boat. Very unusual, according to Captain Bill Carli of Carli Charters. Bill is a great guy and soon-to-be published author. Yet one more interesting island resident it has been our pleasure to meet.

The bedroom totally tricked out

After the llamas left, the grass went nuts :-)

We had Llamas! For a while...
The Trumpeter Inn loaned us 6 lawn-mowing llamas for a couple weeks.


The not quite latest photos...

the blinds and valences are in

The Other latest photos...

The House Beautiful Shot [ Click here for full sized version ]

Our living room at night

Val's teapot collection

The last latest photos...

The view leaving Anacortes on the ferry

The Previous Latest Photos

Controls: Weather Center, Temp, Light, and Fan Controls
Weather Center shows indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, Moon phases, barometric pressure, basic forcast and the time based on signal received from national atomic clock. Made by Oregon Scientific and available at Bartell's for under $30

Upstairs crawlspace hatch, made using leftover kitchen cabinet laminate, framed and held in place using a Velcro strip along the back of the top edge.

Another shot of Val painting - a first coat of buttery gold in the Dining Room

Paul got the countertops installed - and the sink fits!
The wood edges still need staining but now the sink and dishwasher plumbing can continue.

The Previous Latest Photos

Loft Bedroom at night. When you lay down,
you can see stars through the window

Kitchen and Laminate Flooring

Vaulted Ceiling Fan

IKEA Leather Chair and Ottoman - VERY comfy

Loft Bedroom Ladies' Petite Pissoir
There is an IKEA 3 drawer bureau to the left

Pressure Tank (blue) and On Demand Water Heater
way up high on the wall (Grey) in the Laundry Room.

Carpeted Loft Stairs at Night

Main Floor Bath,
Featuring "The Sottini" Full Height Vanity. Very cool.

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The PREVIOUS  Previous latest photos...

the kitchen begins to come together

Loft bedroom

Looking toward living room vaulted ceiling
from the middle of loft bedroom

Loft bedroom

Small ladies "pissoir" in the loft bedroom

laminate wood, Pergo type floor in the petite pissoir
 (this laminate will also cover the entire main floor)

Linoleum in Main Floor Bathroom
 (linoleum extends  across short carport entrance hall and into laundry room

Our first snowfall - Taken by our neighbors, Maury and Jeanine

End of  New Photos Section

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San Juan Island is 14 miles long and 7 wide. Population 7000. It's nice and dark and, being in what they call the Rain Shadow of the Olympic mountains, it enjoys more than 270 days of sunshine a year. An imaging friend who built an observatory nearby tells me that in the Fall and Spring, the laminar flow over the area steadies the atmospheric seeing quite nicely. It'll be a pleasure to eventually try planetary imaging under those skies as our "non-vacation home" in Woodinville is in the Convergence Zone - the exact opposite of the Rain Shadow.

Here how far we've gotten with the interior design.
We're still undecided about the "Extra" room off the deck.

Here's Paul's early 3D rendering based on the specs, using some $40 software he found at Staples.

Here's Paul's first "blueprint" of the layout using that Staples software.

To view the site plan, click on image below:

Click for Site Plan

To view photos of the naked property, click on images below:

 straight South
along eastern
Prime view
from Cabin
Porch :-)
 West along
top fence
Looking East The Property
 as seen from
 the road below


NOTE: The above images will open in their own windows
- just close them to return here.

Last but not least... the dream that started it all... Here is our little astronomy getaway as you might imagine it at night:

This is our little dream cabin placed against an actual photo of our lovely meadow.  In the sky above, you can see the great Eagle Nebula/M16* setting into the northwestern tree line along with an unknown ringed planetoid. Hey, it's our dream, we can see whatever we want.  :-)

*Warm thanks to Roland Christen for lending me his magnificent rendition of M16

Oh, yeah - the moon meadow picture up at the top was taken from the ridge overlooking the San Juan Airport a half mile to the east of us.