I’m officially ensconced in a waterfront condo nestled in lovely Kitsap County. House-sitting was fine, but I’m glad to be in my palace. It took a few days to transport my remaining belongings from the house to the condo, most of which was done while dealing with a dastardly cold, but moving is finally done. Riley and I are happy to be settled in a place that’ll be entirely ours for at least a year.

For my move aboard a boat two years ago, I purged my life of stuff, furniture, kitchen niceties, and media electronics included. This means I’m typing in a mostly empty living room, sitting in a consignment-found comfy armchair, my cup of coffee resting on a Goodwill end table, Spotify music pumping through the laptop speakers.

Pinterest, a time-sucking website if ever there was one, has convinced me I’m crafty. Looking at DIY projects and executing them are different pursuits, but for now I think there’s a domestic goddess within who can fashion liquid soap-dispensers from mason jars. There’s a perfectly good unused picture frame sitting on the floor which will likely be transformed into a chalkboard; the hideous aforementioned Goodwill end table is awaiting a shabby chic transformation; my lonely arm-chair is hoping to be paired with a coffee table, couch, and desk. All in good time.

I need:

  • Dining table and chairs (want pub style)
  • Small, functional desk (preferably non-ugly)
  • Entertainment display (could be a dresser repurposed)
  • TV (for movies and when season 3 of Sherlock airs) and its accouterments
  • Rugs (for decor and to absorb sound)

Consignment shops and Craigslist are my go-tos for the above. If you’re in Kitsap County and know of some places to score great furniture deals, do tell.

The Fabulous

  • Gorgeous water view, facing easterly, so I get the sunrise in the morning
  • Nice neighborhood
  • Close to conveniences
  • Private area, no car sounds, not a lot of people
  • Open unit, lots of light
  • Large bedroom which makes me want a vanity table ala Lady Mary in Downton Abbey
  • Killer bedroom closet
  • Storage everywhere. I’ve more empty shelves than stuff to put on them.
  • Stays warm due to condo positioning

The Not so Great

  • Shared walls, ceiling, floor*. I’m a middle unit, in between a floor above and below and side to side. I can hear the neighbors.
  • No yard like when I house-sat, so Riley can’t just be let outside in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve got to dress myself to take him out for a potty.
  • Outdated decor. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a rosy hue, as does the bathroom counter. So 1970s.
  • Shared laundry room. I can’t run nekked to the dryer for freshly laundered clothes. Well I technically could, but won’t. I’m too modest.
  • Mirrors everywhere. The mirrors, while adding light and the illusion of a grander space, also force me to see myself wherever I go. In some mirrors I look like a Victoria’s Secret model. In others a should-be customer of Jenny Craig. Makes me wonder which is real and which is not.

*It’s been two years since I’ve shared walls, and it’s all coming back to me. I’ve learned a couple of things about the neighbor who lives above me. I’ve met him in the parking and he seems a swell dude. Obviously I’ll keep things anonymous, but I can say the following about Mr. Upstairs:

  1. He’s a heel-striker. The advent of heavily cushioned heels on shoes has unfortunately lead to poor walking form, encouraging heel-to-toe strike rather than the quieter, more shock-absorbing forefoot strike. This is my long, anatomical explanation of why my upstairs neighbor stomps when he walks.
  2. He likes modern rock music. That’s better than rap, or as I had with a previous neighbor when I lived in California, Mexican music. Oh don’t get offended. I’m not a fan of country, rap or Italian opera either. Chill out. Anyway, I can hear the songs he plays.
  3. If you don’t like over-sharing, don’t read this one. I can hear when Mr. Upstairs makes an offering to the porcelain god. This could be for one of two reasons: the walls are obviously thin (see above two) or because Mr. Upstairs is a Mister, his streaming offering has a greater distance to fall than his female counterpart. Either way, it’s a little gross.

My landlords, the same people for whom I house-sat, have asked how the condo is fairing, and I’ve informed them of the sound issue. Until we can come up with a solution to the loudness, I’ve decided to take action in the form of a kindly letter to Mr. Upstairs, informing him that the ceiling was not designed to absorb sound. It’s not his fault I can hear him, after all. Being honest and friendly will go a lot further than passive aggressiveness. I’ll also have to give him and the other neighbors, who seem quite friendly, bags of cookies.


Since my unit is right on the water, I’ve often thought of how posh it would be to have my own boat again, either a sailboat or even a kayak. This notion has caused a hypothetical argument within me, as I’m not sure what type of sailboat I’d eventually buy. And yes, it’s all hypothetical. I cannot afford to plunk several grand into a new cruiser. If I did, though, I’d likely buy another Islander 30, my heart belongs to them. Or an Islander 28, because I’m a Bob Perry groupie. Or a Baba 30, so I could look at it each morning on the water, my heart going pitter patter. Or a Valiant 40, just because…. See? I have mental problems.


  1. Richard Elder May 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Courtney,
    Didn’t realize you are a dirt person again for the near future. Just a thought. I have a 17′ Invitation fast sailing dingy, something like a Laser II for sale for $1,000. Its looking like I may be moving back to the PNW to build another big boat for a client. If the Invitation would help your sailing withdrawal pangs, I could bring it out.


  2. Dan Sehl May 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I am on my second sailboat, a small Hunter 25. I only lived aboard a couple of months (Catalina 30), then lived at a marina very close to my first boat.
    I dream of sailboats still… southern crosses, cheoys, ct34s…

    I can relate! Congrats on the apartment.


  3. Rick BAiley June 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    We lived in Poulsbo for three years, and your place reminds me of a place we used to walk by often. We were half a mile from downtown – loved it there. If you’re ever in town, visit the Poulsbohemian Coffee shop – that was “our” place. Best cup in PNW.

    1. Courtney July 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I’m in Poulsbo now, I’ve lived in the area for years. Great place. And I have been to the Poulsbohemian a number of times.