Camp Davis

Our home away from home on two and a half acres in the hills of Berkeley Springs, WV. This is where we go to get away from the crazy city life we live during the week, the place where we go to stretch out, slow down, and relax.


February 6, 2014
I really thought the deconstruction of Camp Davis was finally behind us.  We lost power. We lost appliances.  Our structural integrity was compromised.  My manhood sense of security was called into question.  We lived without a fridge. We managed without a kitchen sink (though washing dishes in the bathroom sink next to the toilet is

January 20, 2014
We’ve got more progress to report from the front lines of the Camp Davis renovation project.  This time it’s cabinetry.  And an island – a huge one.  After a few weeks of using the courtyard as a refrigerator, cooking everything in the microwave or on an electric griddle and washing dishes in the bathroom sink,

January 9, 2014
As I mentioned previously, we are finally back on track at Camp Davis.  With the structural rebuild complete, the biggest sticking point left was the floors.  We had the contractors install unfinished New England White Pine – in part to save money and in part because we had a very particular look in mind that

January 7, 2014
We moved.*  We enjoyed the holidays.  We ran away for a week to a seriously, unbelievably improved Camp Davis.  And now we’re back.  Natalie heads to work tomorrow.  The kids and I go back to doing whatever it is the kids and I do during the week.  Life marches onward.  We have a lot of

November 19, 2013
There was a big shuttle launch out of the NASA station at Wallop’s Island tonight that should have been visible from many hundreds of miles away.  We didn’t see it from our balcony (since we were too busy watching Loren wash dishes in the kitchen for the first time), but the thought of Wallop’s Island

October 29, 2013
We made another trip to Camp Davis this past Sunday to check in on the contractor’s progress and it looks like they are nearly finished their side of the renovations.  Drywall is up, floors are down. We are in the middle, hopefully soon and often. Here is a shot of the soon-to-be kitchen with the

September 22, 2013
It’s been over a year since the Derecho and almost a year since the truck, but this Saturday morning, Nat and I dropped the kids with Grannie so that we could make a day-trip to Camp Davis to see the major renovation progress that is finally, finally taking place. Most insurance repairs happen a lot faster than

September 4, 2013
We stuck around DC this past weekend and despite our best efforts managed to pack it full of noteworthy events, including trips to see a free children’s play at the Kennedy Center (highly recommend, seriously cant believe we’ve never done that before), enjoy our neighborhood’s newly remodeled playground (with SPLASH PAD!), and had a total

August 26, 2013
  A few weeks ago – just before leaving for family vacation actually – I lost my wallet.  IDs, cash, credit cards, Rx cards, Smartrip card, everything.  Earlier that day I’d driven the kids to Target to get diapers.  After paying to leave Target’s parking garage I placed my wallet in my lap as I

June 6, 2013
Hey, you just changed me, and this is crazy, but check my diaper, it’s poopy maybe. It’s hard to smell right, around you baby, I’ll check you’re diaper, it’s poopy maybe. Yes, all those other times, you tried to change me, Just check my diaper, it’s poopy maybe. Before you went and checked my dipe’,

February 1, 2013
I’m not a superstitious man.  Not necessarily.  But since having children I’ve grown to believe- no, I’ve grown to accept the fact that my outward acknowledgments control the fate of things around me. The classic “Jimmy Jinx” is one in which I mention, in the moment, that the kids are being good or sleeping well –

January 9, 2013
2012 ended with a bang.  For some silly reason, I thought that would be it for our Camp Davis winter break adventures. I thought maybe 2012 was cursed.  In no particular order, 2012 saw us replace the entire A/C unit in our rental property as well as the water heater at Camp Davis (both kicked

January 7, 2013
Or, the Relaxing New Years’ Break that Wasn’t. Happy Belated New Year!  It sure is good to be back – back in the city, where life is calm and nothing ever really happens.  Yes, back to the peace that you just don’t find out in the adventurous country where we’ve been for the last week. 

December 27, 2012
Translation: Merry Christmas.  That’s not an easy one for Loren to say. by

December 18, 2012
After a long hiatus over Thanksgiving break followed by a weekend stolen due to having to do “real” work, we managed to get ourselves out to Camp Davis for the first time in what felt like forever this past weekend.  As usual, the big plans we had for the projects we could accomplish between Friday

November 14, 2012
With both kids now really, actually sick, I find that my days are filled just hoping for twenty minutes of calm.  I’d prefer that calm come during a dual nap-time, but if I can get it when both kids are awake I’d be happy. Our typical routine, one that I now realize I’ve grown quite

November 8, 2012
I’ve been too busy to write much this week.  We had out of town guests for much of it, then there was all the election stuff happening (nothing like staying up until two in the morning watching election results), doctors appointments and sick kids, and well, writing just sort of took a back seat. I

October 30, 2012
I’m linking up to another Pinterest Challenge today.  Last time I tackled the chalkboard “blacksplash” (you can see that here). In case you are new to this, here’s a quick rundown.  The Pinterest Challenge is simple: Actually *do* something you recently pinned.  There is no theme, no difficulty-level expectations, nothing.  Just try something. While Katie Bower

October 30, 2012
We here in DC managed to go relatively unscathed from Sandy.  Instead of the expected power outages and tree damage we ended up with two extra days of play tacked onto the weekend. Just in case, we spent Friday through Sunday over in West Virginia, trying to do what we could to prepare Camp Davis

October 26, 2012
We’re headed back to Camp Davis this weekend for a chance to slow things down a bit.  Since Natalie returned to work we’ve had some rather hectic weekends, and a few days of being totally disconnected is much needed at this point. On the topic of Camp Davis, I almost forgot… When we first came

October 1, 2012
We’re back from Camp Davis with more progress to report.  In addition to replacing the roof over the Studio we completed the siding on its northern-facing portion.  That is a huge deal for a number of reasons (for starters, that’s one less side subject to the elements this winter), but what it primarily represents is

September 25, 2012
The tin roof over top of the studio at Camp Davis is no longer.  We spent a long weekend at Camp and my dad and I ripped off the old leaky roof and replaced it.  I’m not going to type a lot for this one – the pictures speak for themselves, and my hands are

September 18, 2012
We had a long and productive weekend at Camp Davis.  Well, productive in that “two steps forward, one step back” kind of way.  We also managed to occupy a lot of our time doing things that weren’t exactly necessary, but which kept us moving.  That can be half the battle sometimes. As I mentioned previously,

September 14, 2012
I’m tired of buying crap. No, that’s not it.  I’m tired of buying crap and then later complaining that the crap I bought is crap. Yeah, that’s more like it. In an effort to curb this recurring problem, Natalie and I made trip to Community Forklift just outside of DC in Edmonston, Maryland.  It is

August 6, 2012
It seems a quick update about good ol’ Camp Davis is in order.  When we last checked in post-Derecho my Dad was busy cleaning out liquified rancid pork shoulders as I dry-heaved in the courtyard.  On Friday, for some reason Natalie and I figured that we just absolutely had to bring the kids out for

July 13, 2012
I spent yesterday driving to and from Camp Davis to assess the damage from last week’s storms, and boy were we lucky: The tree pictured broke off its trunk about 30 feet above the ground.  We’re incredibly lucky that this was the extent of the damage: The power line and a few spots of siding

June 8, 2012
It’s Friday.  Last night Natalie mentioned that the weekend is practically over already (she’s a dreader).  I responded that that was ok, because so is Monday for that matter, and it will be Friday again before long.  Time continues to race forward, and I’ve run out of ways to slow it down or the effort

June 6, 2012
Too busy to do much posting today.  I could say that goes for the rest of the week as well (and last week, and probably next week too – I’m still not really certain how or when I manage to find time to write these posts).  In the meantime, here’s a few tidbits that haven’t

May 29, 2012
The other day Nat and I discovered this sizable hole in our sub-floor hiding under a piece of metal at Camp Davis: That’s how I was going to start this post:  “The other day…”  Then, while looking through my old posts for a link to this discovery I realized that “the other day” happened a

May 1, 2012
If you happen to find yourself driving down Rt 522 through the panhandle of West Virginia, you might be lucky enough to notice a small produce stand on the east side of the road.  You should stop there. If you do you’ll be smack dab in the middle of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, home of

April 30, 2012
It’s almost poetic that I’d finish last week analyzing priorities then finish off the weekend staring at this: That metal plate covered a two foot square at the foot of our side entrance door at Camp.  It has been one of those things that we acknowledge as a problem, but would just as soon cover

April 27, 2012
I managed to rack up 200 dollars in parking tickets in the span of nine hours yesterday.  And I didn’t even drive anywhere!  It’s seems my tags expired and two separate parking enforcement super heroes felt the need to remind me of this.  The first ticket came just after midnight, 45 minutes after my tags

April 19, 2012
How about a little something on the up-side to balance out my worrying last night? Every so often I come across something on the internet that singularly captures the spirit, nay, the very essence of Camp Davis that I have no choice but to sit in awe…and then Pin it…and then hope upon hope that

April 16, 2012
This weekend was unexpectedly productive.  Despite staying put in DC on Friday night – just allowing ourselves some downtime – and leaving for Camp Davis way later than we hoped to on Saturday morning, we managed to pack a lot into just a few short days.  We cooked *real* meals, cleaned the gutters, did some gardening,

April 3, 2012
I just discovered that Campbell’s Soup is “following” The Book of Jimmy’s Pinterest account (meaning they are watching my pins).  It seems they first stumbled upon my pinboard for The Tin Can @ Camp Davis, which makes sense when you think about it.  Campbell’s Soup, The Tin Can – it’s sort of their thing. Pinterest

April 2, 2012
We’re finally home after a nice long and well-needed trip to Camp Davis.  Our relatives drove all the way from Minnetonka, Minnesota for a great visit!  Nature rewarded their efforts with perfect weather and peak-bloom of nearly every bit of flora around us. The daffodils, periwinkle, forsythia, and red buds were just amazing. We even

March 3, 2012
Mason Jars.  Cheap, versatile, durable.  What’s not to like?  Through the generous donation of a friend we have cases and cases of them. Of course, our number one use for the mason jar is as a drinking vessel.  From water to wine, and every lovely beverage in-between (mint juleps maybe?), if you’re at Camp Davis, you’re likely

February 24, 2012
Originally dubbed “the Studio,” the third structure at Camp Davis is, at the moment, little more than a glorified shed.  It has a deck, a fair amount of windows, and an amazing wood stove, but it’s completely unfinished on the inside (and only half-finished on the outside).  We’re talking bare drywall, no ceiling (think “exposed”

February 21, 2012
While I didn’t have much time to work on the Hytte this weekend (outside of installing one light fixture and the remaining curtain rods – I guess I got a little done after all), I did manage to snap a few pictures of our previous progress. We’ve got the Hytte to the point of being

February 21, 2012
Coming back from Camp Davis after a long weekend is always a mixed bag.  In many ways we’re excited to re-connect with the rest of the world (did we miss anything important?), see friends, and otherwise get back to “normal” as best we can.  Of course, leaving is never easy. Yesterday we found ourselves in

February 7, 2012
That title may or may not be made-up Norwegian. This is the Hytte post I mentioned a few weeks back.  The Hytte is our little guest house at Camp Davis.  Well, I guess it would be considered a guest house if we weren’t busy hogging it outselves.  When we’re hosting a crowd (aka my immediate

February 1, 2012
As promised, what follows is a little bit of the interior details from MacMurray Ranch in the Russian River Valley. Let’s go ahead and start with that seemingly modest barn behind the giant redwoods: You’ve got some drool there on you. I love the contrast between the painted white beams and the stained roof beams.

January 31, 2012
Over the summer Natalie and I had the incredible fortune of going to Napa and Sonoma County for some serious vineyard tours.  We were part of a small group of three couples led by my friend Mike (of rock wall fame), who works in the industry here on the east-coast.  The entire trip was incredible

January 30, 2012
There’s certain DIY projects that are almost too easy that it’s silly.  You stop and wonder, “why didn’t I think of that?” Or if you did finally think of it, you wonder, “why didn’t I think of that before?” This is one of those projects.  We inherited it from the previous owner of Camp Davis

January 30, 2012
Another weekend over, another trip to Camp in the books.  We all had a blast, but the weekend ended with an unexpected mini-crisis.  Without getting into too many details, I wanted to take this opportunity to tip my hat to humanity, and to the kindness of strangers.  Cynicism has a way of making itself readily

January 27, 2012
We’re off for a long weekend at Camp Davis, West Virginia.  We’ve got a few of my brothers and their kids coming down with us – which means the food talk started a few days ago.  Waffles, pancakes and western omelets will start off our days at breakfast.  Saturday night should see brined split-chicken under

January 21, 2012
That’s how we built this wall.  Only those are stones, not bricks.  And rather, that’s how our friend Mike built this wall. by

January 14, 2012
Being transplant city-folks (sorta), we’ve grown comfortable in tiny apartments.  Our first place in DC was a basement apartment. It was a studio, maybe 400 square feet.  Dark, cold, but affordable and close to school.  In April 2007 we got the courage (and inexplicable financing) to buy a place of our own.  Something above ground,
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  1. […] case, we spent Friday through Sunday over in West Virginia, trying to do what we could to prepare Camp Davis for what was surely a lot of rain yesterday and today.  I cleaned the gutters (let’s just […]

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