It is definitely Fall and we have returned to the Pacific Northwest – a sad and fond farewell to the church for another year followed by a (long) trek across the continent. Every year we renew our love for the area and our church becomes more of a cottage by the sea and less a community house of worship. It will always bear the echoes of that past, I am sure, but our renovation efforts are slowly breathing some new meanings into its life.

Our new bathroom is almost ready

This year saw some major progress! The bathroom is almost finished. In addition to digging up and checking out the septic system (a necessary step, as you might guess), we have the bathroom completely plumbed. The shower and bathtub are fully installed and the sink parts are there and ready for the first effort next year. As I mentioned in the last post, the shower installation had its moments, but Erik’s skill and persistence won the day. I would not suggest to anyone to buy anything with the Jade Bath name (their customer service was worse than it needed to be) but the result is pleasing.

Toby takes a well-deserved rest

The guest bedroom is almost finished. It now has a bed and a chest and all the little electrical holes to the basement have been patched. Next year, both the bathroom and the bedroom will get their doors. We found some doors that match the shape of the church doors but they will take some work to make them fit their new purpose. I look forward to lots of sanding, filling, and painting.

Little rescue drop-leaf

We did send our our upholstered furniture finds for recovering. After closer inspection, I am not entirely sure they are worth the effort but we do need something to sit on other than wooden straight-backed chairs. I had some fun looking for antiques but mostly for small things. I found a nice little table crafted in Nova Scotia and rescued a table we found in the church.

We are using another antique dresser for the sink vanity. I did have one great (not) moment where I started to apply the water-based polyurethane as the second coat to the oil-based polyurethane for that sink vanity. I caught it in time and only ruined the brush.

Installing the Spiral

Our biggest accomplishment was our staircase and bannister. It took a bit longer to install than we had planned but we are really happy with the result. The design and assembly are genius but we had some stressful times getting it put together. The pickets are all inserted into their appropriate position and then the railing has to fit down on top of them. There are a lot of pickets. The bannister is a tight fit. The wood is all finished. The holes are pre-drilled. When one end goes in, the other comes out. We are still married.

The railing for the loft was easier, but nothing was pre-drilled so the effort was a bit more nerve-wracking for the non-skilled labor (me). Thanks to a very smart and skilled carpenter I know and love, things went very smoothly.


I can’t tell you how much nicer it is to walk up and down a staircase compared to climbing up and down a ladder. That first step off the loft took, well, let’s call it concentration. I am seriously un-fond of heights and this railing makes all the difference for me. Next year, the loft gets a floor.

The first of the cabinets installed

Of course, we need to walk out the door with a project at the last minute. This year: the kitchen cabinets. Erik put up some of the uppers so we had some storage and could get a sense of how they would look. I am thrilled to think about getting the rest of them in next year.

I suppose you can tell that the list for the next effort is already growing. But we have a new grandbaby coming in Australia and lots to do around home with our 15-month-old grandson and his family, not to mention our cats, our garden, and our house. It is good to be home cuddling with family and pets and back into the swing of things. Next week, I’ll show you my piddly fiber output. Clearly the 2 months were focused elsewhere, but inspiration was everywhere. I have tons of ideas and can’t wait to get back to work!

A new-to-me Italian wine