We’re getting new countertops put in on Raven, hopefully to be done in a week or so. We’re going with a light color to counteract the dark wood everywhere.

This is the sample that Chris sent me. I think it’s going to look nice.

Right now we have a jumble of dishes that the old owner left and that we brought from Serenity. Some of them are ok and some are really junky. I’ve been looking for something to replace them with. My criteria are: must be virtually unbreakable and not look gross after a few washings. I had been mostly looking at malomine, because those are the ones that usually have the non-skid on the bottom. I kind of hate the idea of eating off of plastic every day and they usually get worn looking pretty quickly. I was searching the internet again today when I ran across a post from Boat Galley called Unbreakable Boat Dishes. The writer really lays out the benefits of Corelle. Now I think I want either these:

Or these:

I’m leaning towards the second ones as they’ll match our colors better (don’t I sound like I’m planning a wedding?)

And I think I’ll order these placemats in Cobalt Blue so they don’t slide on the table!

I got this cutie on sale at Northwest Outdoor Center used.

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She’s a Necky Rio 10.

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I had a lovely time paddling around the marina and out to the park. The wind was pretty strong though so I came back sooner than I’d have liked. I now see the value of a full skirt.

As I mentioned in my wish list, I want to outfit Raven in an efficient, useful and stylish manner. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to me, and the equipment that I use there. As I type, I have bread rising in our apartment kitchen, with two bread pans waiting to receive it. Are those bread pans going to fit in our galley propane stove? What about my Kitchenaid Mixer? Bread is so much easier to make with one than without.

I mean, wouldn’t you want to continue making these?

I’m making an effort to save as much room as possible, though. So far I’ve purchased a collapsing colander and smaller collapsing bowls that can double as food storage. I plan to get one mixing bowl as well for popcorn and mixing things and I can use the bowl from the mixer if needed.

Smaller than they seem.

The Mister had to pull the sinks in the galley and master head so that the counter guy could measure and lay the new countertop. Hopefully that will be in on Monday. I’ve ordered our new faucet and soap dispenser for the kitchen from Ikea and added the knife rack and a storage rack to the order.

Simple and pretty.

Ikea charges a ton for shipping, but it’s worth it for my time and sanity in not going there myself. I’ll have to go at some point to get the throw pillows and the larger comforter and sheets for our bed–that’s one thing that’s gotten bigger. I’m excited for sleeping in the huge bed.

Work has been an energy suck lately. While I love my job, I sometimes let it make me anxious and this last month has been one of those times. I’ve also had a set back on the Student Loan Forgiveness front that left me feeling sad.

My friend wrote recently about creating a wish list with some reachable goals and how she’s come along in the last year. This sounds like a great idea, as far as setting a few goals, some easily reachable, but needing some attention, to some things that might take a little longer or a bit more work.

Here it is:

  1. Be more present with my chosen family–The Mister and the girls
  2. Complete craft projects that clutter the basement (some progress already)
  3. Get Raven outfitted in an efficient, useful and stylish manner (more on this next post)
  4. Cook and bake more often
  5. Organize my work life better
  6. Run and practice yoga and mediation
  7. Go to Europe
  8. Spend more time with my siblings and friends
  9. Pay off my debt
  10. Get a kayak and go kayaking often

Some of these things require more time than I feel like I have. I can’t work less, so I have to figure out how to fit them into my daily life. I’d also like to be flexible, as The Mister is sometimes a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy. Planning too much puts a cramp in his style, and really mine too–sometimes when I plan too much, I start canceling on everything so I can just chill.

I’m putting a monthly reminder in my calendar to check back in on these wishes to see how they’re coming along.

Seattle on a fine October day. Taken from Gasworks Park.

It’s been raining here in Sunny Seattle, so I haven’t been to Raven for about a week. Before that, my dad came out twice to help us out. He and I put up the dodger and most of the life lines/stanchions. The Mister had a few friends come by as well to help put on the dingy davits and some other heavy lifting items.

We’re talking to a contractor about the counters in the kitchen and bath and I think it will turn out great. It’s a load off knowing I probably won’t have the state of our counters riding on my (lack of) carpentry skills.

Last Sunday I took a friend down and he took a few great pictures of Raven and the Marina. Click on the picture to see the full album. My friends on G+ have already seen these.

WildlifeWildlife by Fiona Wood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was honestly surprised at how delightful this book is. When I started the pre-release I thought, “oh another upper class, private school, white girl, coming of age.”

While all of those things may exist in this book, it contains a fresh edge. The students are taken out of their natural elements and into the woods and we don’t get a good feeling for how privileged they are. They all seem like teens, with their own personalities and quirks. Sib especially, because even though she’s met fame, it hasn’t changed her into a different person. She cares about the world and her friends, even if she does overlook some obvious faults for far too long. She is a real person.

Lou’s grief hits you head on. As a biker myself, I can feel the loss of her boyfriend who died in a biking accident. She’s simply putting one foot in front of the other most of the time, but her personality wins through when she sees the atrocious way that Sib’s friend Holly treats others. We get to know her better as her grief gives way to living, and her dry humor and smart replies are priceless.

I was a little confused at first that a school would send students away for 3 months to live in the woods and experience some pretty intense backpacking trips, but then I realized it’s set in Australia. I could see that…

A joy to read.

Update: And now that I’ve found this article, I really want to read Six Impossible Things. Hurry up and come out in the US!!!

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Raven has been here for a little over a week now, and we’ve already done a bit of work getting her back to sailing mode. None of which will feel real until we get the mast and rigging back up.

We have cleaned the inside up a bit and put up the dodger to protect the cockpit and entryway. I cleaned the master head as the sink drain exploded during the journey and there was drain gunk spattered about. It wasn’t too bad. The Mister went around and taped up all the holes where the hardware was taken out for the trip and just in time. It started raining soon after. I guess our unlikely hot summer is over.

On Tuesday night we spent our first night on Raven to test it out. It was super comfy and I slept very soundly, which is not always possible for me. We could hear the trains, but otherwise it was quiet and peaceful and I love the sound of trains going by. And I got to wake to this out of our stateroom portal (notice all the sailing terminology?? Eh?)

I just had to add a quick post because Raven is arriving today after a brief hold up in Redding California due to construction on I-5. She has been decommissioned and I feel that I should share the pictures we got of that from the broker, as it is kind of awesome to see a sailboat without it’s mast or rigging.

I don’t think I’ll make it down to see her until Friday, but it’s pretty exciting to know she’s here. Oh, and if you’re in the market for a beautiful Gulf 29′, check out this page.

Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of VietnamCatfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam by Andrew X. Pham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A gritty bike journey through the US West coast, Japan and finally, Vietnam. An (Andrew) bikes through all these places in search of himself, even though he is often more lost on his introspective journey than when he began. Interspersed with the tale of his travels are flashes to the past when he was a child in Vietnam before, during, and after the war, and as an immigrant in the US, ending up in Los Angeles.

An has a lot of self hate, and he seems to be searching for a way to like himself: if he can only find a reason to like the Vietnamese, he might learn to like himself. I’m not certain that ever happens, but he has a grand adventure trying.

All in all, very entertaining. I always wanted to know what would happen next and I found his ability to keep going despite his setbacks inspiring. I would have liked a bit more of an ending, but this is a memoir, so I’ll have to live with reality.

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I was looking around the internet today, recouping from a biopsy on my precious day off from work, and came across this list of “Top 10 Things” to hate when living aboard. The list did not surprise me. I am expecting to hate doing laundry in a laundry room and the lack of space is something I expect as well.  It is good to be reminded of the condensation issue and I really didn’t know that power and flipping breakers might be a problem. I think it will be fine when it’s just The Mister and me, but when the kids are here, we sometimes put a lot of strain on the power grid. The comments on the post are worth checking out–people have come up with some great solutions. And there is also their previous post that lists the Top 10 Things they love about living aboard.

I had already decided that I needed a place to store my road bike and camping gear off the boat. Mildew is not my favorite thing, especially in tents and rust on my Surly!!??!! Not happening. I know I can get a storage space in Ballard fairly cheaply, but I’m also thinking about a place where I can get away occasionally and possibly do some sewing projects. There are office spaces at ActivSpace that go for $260 a month. That’s a lot more than a storage space, but utilities are included. If they had wifi, that would be wonderful, but that is not offered that I see. They are wired for internet, but I don’t really want another bill.

I was considering a membership at Makerhaus along with a storage space as a possibility, but I see that they are going away September 16th. This makes me sad. I did a tour in the Spring and wanted to come up with some reason to join because their offerings are so cool. Having access to all of those tools and space to set up the laptop and work on personal projects would have been great. Luckily I have a lot of time to figure out an alternative that will work for me. It would be nice if the space is something The Mister and I can both use, anyhow.

Update on Raven: She’ll be here on Monday! Once the ball gets rolling, it goes fast. I am so excited!

 

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