Ruby and Fryman build a fort

Ever since we watched the shed episode of Making It, Ruby has been asking for a fort. This weekend, we sawed away the interior branches of one of our big trees to make that fort. Then we made a sign. Then Ruby made this video.


A Fry Lodge Father’s Day

I had to squat on the beach to get the perfect shot of Kristine and the kids as we took a break on Crab Island during our family kayak outing. It’s usually a challenge getting all three of them to smile at once during one of my photo shoots. But for some reason, they all broke out into hysterics. I wondered why, until I felt the dampness in the seat of my shorts. Apparently, at that moment, a clam decided to spit water vertically from where it was buried in the sand – directly underneath me.

It was perfect timing on the clam’s part. It broke the tension created by a certain reluctant kayaker, who will remain nameless.

The Fry Family Quartet was having a very nice, well deserved break. The previous two weekends were spent getting Fry Lodge Mud Bay ready to put on the market, which had included pre-dawn ferry journeys, lots of elbow grease and a few sore muscles.

A little spray paint does wonders

After the squirting clam incident, we visited our good friends, the Rovente family, on their awesome little Lopez farm. Kristine was hit with a double whammy of cat and hay allergies, but we had a wonderful evening all the same.

We woke up this morning to a clear-as-glass Mud Bay and decided it was time to head back to the mainland. Our ferry karma kicked in as we barely squeezed onto the 9:30am ferry (the 33rd car despite a 27-car quota).

We spent the rest of our Sunday test driving F150 pickups, napping and grilling ribeyes. A great Fry Lodge Father’s Day.

Family Trees 

The back side of Fry Lodge is a fish bowl. Up ’til now, with only a family of deer living behind us, this hasn’t been an issue. But we know it’s only a matter of time before we have neighbors staring into our back yard, living room and bedroom. This weekend we decided to invest in our future privacy with some tree planting. Each family member picked out, planted and named their own tree: Branchee (Ruby), Bobert (Henry), Katie (Kristine) and Howie (mine). The trees are supposed to grow at a rate of six inches per year. We should have a private back yard by about 2040.

Subdued Excitement 

That’s a pretty good description of the emotional state at Fry Lodge these days. It’s also the tag line for our new hometown.

Today was the first day of school for Henry and Ruby, who both practically skipped up the hill to the bus stop. They came home with some great stories about their first day, and we’re looking forward to getting to know all the families in the neighborhood. 

Our first day apart from the kids in more than two months, Kristine and I celebrated by putting together IKEA furniture all day. Henry came home to a freshly assembled loft bed. After thanking us for getting his room in shape, he asked:”How many times did you curse while putting it together?”

We’re pretty thrilled to have established Fry Lodge Bellingham. Stay tuned for updates on our subdued excitement. 

Burying Saint Joseph

It was 8:30 a.m., Saturday –Tour de Lopez weekend. The Fry Family Quartet was looking forward to a day of biking and a visit from our friends, the Kielys. The weather was cooperating. Oysters were ordered. At 9:30, we would head to the village to pick up our friends. At 8:34 a.m., I got a text from our real estate agent, saying, “I’m showing your house today at 11:45.” Spoiler alert: Fry Lodge Mud Bay is on the market, and we’re very excited to be moving to Bellingham, WA.

We had less than an hour to get Fry Lodge show ready: dishes done, counters wiped, floors mopped, carpet vacuumed, laundry hidden. Henry and Ruby were banished to the yard, while Kristine and I literally ran from room to room, wielding rags, picking up toys, making beds and decluttering the place. There might have been a few F-bombs dropped. More than one person cried. I heard somebody with my voice say to Kristine, “you need to work faster.”

I texted the Kielys to let them know we might be a little late. We got the place spotless by 9:40. As I did my final inspection of the house before leaving, I spotted the statue of Saint Joseph on the mantle. We’d purchased the statue from Amazon the week before, buying into the Catholic superstition that we should bury Saint Joseph, upside down in the yard, if we wanted to increase our chances of selling the house.

At 9:41, the two adults who had just been yelling at each other, gathered their two children in the yard, dug a hole, and buried a 6-inch plastic statue of Saint Joseph. At 9:42, we made the sign of the cross and I read – out loud – the prayer of Saint Joseph for all of Mud Bay to hear (think Griswald family in Vacation after leaving their dead Aunt Agnes on their in-laws’ back patio).



At 9:43, we tore out of the driveway in the minivan and sped to Lopez Village, trying not to hit the bicyclists who had shown up for the Tour de Lopez.


Laundry goes in the RV before house showings.

What would Kelley do?

If asked what I’m thankful for today, I would say I’m thankful for the fact that our remodel is finished in time for Thanksgiving. Tonight, Kristine and I carried our furniture back in from the garage, where it has been sitting for the past four weeks while we: tore out the shag carpet, sanded all the trim, removed the spider-infested wood box, patched drywall, painted walls and doors, installed new trim and laid new carpet. It was, at times, frustrating – especially as we neared the end of the project. Painful, too, particularly for Kristine, who sliced her hand with a razor knife last week as she cut carpet squares. Though we had a few inevitable arguments along the way, I think we were a pretty good team. I’m glad we got to do this project together. We have my sister, Kelley, to thank for teaching us our skills during last year’s kitchen remodel. This year, as we pondered various issues that arose, we found ourselves asking, “What would Kelley do?” She would have painted the ceiling.


Perfect for living room Twister



Goodbye barn animal chandelier



Goodbye shag carpet