Home Home Sweet Home Lazy Days of Summer: A Progress Report

Lazy Days of Summer: A Progress Report


Chubby peach cheeks: I picked a bumper crop of  three peaches from my Avalon Pride tree–delicious all!

Don’t laugh, but today we will likely break a heat record somewhere in the low 90s. Too hot for Tom or the shade, I plan on cooling off in Puget Sound, where I will go from tenor to soprano in mere minutes. Nonetheless, it is a sweet, sweet plunge. Summer is a celebratory event around here. Islanders practically panic over getting the most out of a day. Whether checking off a chore list, stopping to smell a few roses, or getting out for a beach walk with friends, a warm sunny summer day on Vashon is a treat to be savored. You don’t want to miss a minute, so let me share a few snapshots and my modest progress report before I head to the beach.

covered back porch and farmers sinkDone: Sink in, mudroom is now more prep-kitchen, garden room.

Thanks to four strong dinner guests and two worthy sawhorses, the log board left the barn and debuted on the lawn as a Fourth of July dinner table. It continues to serve esteemed guests and bossy dogs for most summer feasts and fetes.

Downstairs bathroom still needs to be tackled, but that didn’t seem to bother this princely Pacific Treefrog. (And unfortunately, no wishes were offered up before his hop out the window.)

Pizza, Pizza: Karen of La Biondo Farm christened her mobile wood-fired pizza oven during our Strawberry Festival, and let me just say, I was rolling in the dough. (Thanks to everyone who donated to her kickstarter campaign.)Raspberry and Peach shortcakes: the breakfast of champions and  the finely pedigreed.


  1. what colour is that floor… in some lights… red and cream, in others… black and white…
    I ask because we changed from B and W to R and C… and now may change back… or not…. oh blimey…. it’s too hard…
    I LOVE checked floors.
    Your home looks amazing… XXXOOO
    BUT… sleeping with frogs… I.DON’T. THINK.SO… kissing them be MORE than enough 🙂

  2. I am not laughing at your low 90’s….I am envying it! The highest we’ve gone up is a whopping 88°, and I fear that it will drop back down again to a few digits cooler than what my eggplants and bell peppers prefer. The sad thing is that when it does get hot, I begin to cranky, which is just so weird coming from someone who was born/raised in the middle of the Pacific.

    That wood-fired oven is GORGEOUS!

  3. Tom – we are exactly the same here on the Island in B.C. We are reveling in this hot weather – it came so late! Love love the mudroom and your table! Good luck jumping in Puget Sound…you have more guts than I do!

  4. I am constantly charmed by your life on Vashon Island! I can just imagine a dinner with your friends on that beautiful, long outdoor table, and eating peach shortcake!

  5. You seem to have a charmed life! I love that frog I bet he makes a fine friend; how do your dogs treat him though? Love also the window pane in the “kitchen”? reminds me of childhood homes.

  6. Nice job on the prep-kitchen-garden room; lovely light on the island. And how nice to see that Karen is thriving (thanks to all her friends) – I hope she does well and prospers. She’s a hard-worker.

  7. Tom,
    The mudroom looks AWESOME! Of course, I still vote for an oyster shell crown moulding:) Would you be willing to share your shortcake recipe? Those looked especially good.

    • Thanks Karen, as for the oysters I realized I wouldn’t dust them, uh, ever, so no oyster shells. As for the shortcake recipe you bet — I’ll do a post shortly.

  8. Those peaches look delicious. We had early warm weather and then a frost and lost all the fruiting buds on peaches, apples, plum–everything. Except raspberries they produced very well.

  9. I just stumbled on your blog while looking for answers about my bloom-less Mock Orange. Lovely work! Lovely site! Your words and images do a fabulous job of conveying a wonderful life filled with friends, food, and critters. It’s certainly what I was looking for (and found) when I moved to Bellingham.
    The photo with the tree frog is perfect. And I want that mudroom!

    • Welcome Emily, and thanks for the kind words and visits. and here’s to finding our respective places in the world, and the good friends along the way.

  10. Thanks Tom, I love these pics! The beautiful table brought memories of the Italian dinners at my grandparents in the summer that started in the 1930’s and until the late 50’s. Gratefully, I was able to enjoy a few before mi familia went “inside” to tables with 4 legs were able to “open” and have a center board put in. Truth be told, I miss the outside! Thanks for the memories. <3

    • Miffy, sounds like a scene from a movie, here’s to your happy memories of those times and the wonderful friends and family seated around that table.

  11. Just FYI – I just can’t let it go… oyster shells on our cabin ceiling for two years now and not a cobweb in sight. Maybe some supernatural/fishy smell phenomonem? They are a crowd pleaser. But I can’t wait for the shortcake recipe. You rock!!

  12. @Tom–“Sandra, what part of the country are you growing in?”

    Tom, I’m in upstate New York between Rochester and Syracuse. Looking around the internet I read of others who suffered the early extremely warm weather and then the killing frost. As far down as PA, commercial growers are also lamenting this bad fortune. Now tomatoes, we’ve got tomatoes! ;D


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