The Getaway 2020

We had to get out of the city and breath that fresh ocean air and thanks to Colleen and Steven we got to do it on the cheap! We stayed at Iron Springs Resort in Copalis, WA for 6 days and can’t wait to go back!

Camping 2020

Ollie’s first camping trip! Bedal Campground in the shadow of Mt. Forgotten and lots of trees.

Summer Trip 2020

We had to get out of the city for a bit and took a trip to visit family in northern California. We took as rural a route as we could with a stop in Pacific City, Oregon.

Pacific City, Oregon

Klamath River, California

Couch Side Table

Sick of leaning over to pick up your drink? Time to make a couch side table!

Two 2x4s, a 1×12, and some tools.

What you do when you don’t have clamps and only know how to make butt joints. Using blocks actually worked pretty well, butt joints on the other hand..

I sanded and finished the pine with shellac before final assembly. Shellac is still one of my favorite finishes, but definitely not 3 lb cuts nowadays.

Near final product. The height was cut to fit perfectly over the couch sides. The top is attached with screws that were set as deep as possible without sticking through.

Inexpensive wood may not match perfectly, but it works and pine ages well when taken care of.

The final step was to mix beeswax with food grade mineral oil to make a furniture wax and apply a final layer of protection against those pesky water rings.

A fundamental flaw in this design was that there is no cross bracing and the legs can and did separate easily. I added a 1×4 piece on the bottom to stabilize the legs and it’s been a solid table for almost a year. Since the it is tucked into the side of the couch, you only see the top and this particular piece has an attractive grain pattern.

Baby Gate #1

So you’ve had a baby. Congratulations! At first they mostly just lay there. Maybe an occasional roll over, perhaps a scoot. But overall they have very manageable mobility, usually contained in a few pillows..

But then the crawling gets a little stronger. They learn to move with more propose. And one day, after a few failed attempts, they take those first steps and you are so proud for your child doing something you forgot was you had to learn.

Sometime between their sluggish gyrations and them running through the hall like screaming temper of joy, you realize you live in a 3-story town house and that babies aren’t good at stairs. Guess it’s time to buy some tools, get some lumber, and you remember some of things your dad and grandpa taught you.. it’s time to build a gate.

Research and Design

Something your dad and grandpa probably didn’t have (unless this is the future) was access to easy 3D computer modeling software. The first step for making the baby gate was making some plans. I searched the internet for ideas and crafted up a little model to see if I liked it, being sure to keep it to the woodworking techniques I knew I could do (cutting and screwing).

The next step was tools. I gave away all my power tools when we moved cross country so I did some homework and bought some decent quality tools to get me going. I probably wouldn’t change much here, other than maybe buying a table saw sooner, but that’s something that should take more than a day of research to find.

Next was to lay out some wood, make the appropriate measurements and cut some boards.

I then presanded everything because I didn’t want splinters. I had also happened to chose some nice straight grain fir for this project

The pieces of 1×4 were all cut and ready for layout, drilling, and screwing. A speed square kept things square.

The gate is being installed on black painted railing, so it was stained with a dark oil stain to blend in. There was no conditioner, so there was some splotchiness with the stain. A spray polyacrylic was used to protect the wood.

Black hinges and black zip-ties attached the gate to the railing and we’re done!

Baby Oliver Photo Shoot


Two weekends ago Colleen (Aunty Caca) and Steven (Uncle Poopoo) came over to take some photographs with Esther, Kalyan, and Baby Ollie! Below is a selection of some of our favorites.

Wilderness boy.


Just too cute.

photography by:

Happy Birthday!

Oliver William English. Born 5/20/2019 at 12:29 am. 7 lb 8.5 oz. 21.25″. 137% pure lovie shnugglar awesomeness.

Waiting for B-Day

Little Ollie is still sitting cozy in the womb a week past his due date, so we have been busy filling the time. Esther and baby are happy and healthy. We are just getting restless waiting to meet our son. Here are some of the things we’ve been doing!

Trips to the zoo! (I stubbed my toe real bad so I needed a walking stick…)

Floating sausages!


Gasworks Park!

Procuring all the tasty things Esther hasn’t eaten for 9 months!

Midwife appointments and fetal monitoring.Walks.

And seeing if we can make Ollie jealous and want to get out of there!

Baby Shower Fun!

On Sunday, March 24th, we had a great time with friends and family celebrating Oliver’s Pre-Birthday at the Woodland Park Zoo! Special thanks to everyone who came out and thank you all for the kind gifts to help little Ollie get a great start to life!