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Sometimes things just pile up and contrive to drive you down.

Everything is great in many ways and I was feeling fine until last week. I had a slow buildup of stress around some outreach for work. Nothing was going wrong, it’s just the party you agree to go to but you can’t cancel on because you aren’t feeling social. And a lot of work goes into outreach and programs, but that’s not a big deal because I could do that in my sleep. And sometimes I do! Stress dreams. I even enjoy outreach. I get to see what my community is up to and interact with people for a short time about something I love. But it’s still a stressor.

Add to that a possible health issue that I went to the doctor for and have to go back because of software failure, wasting both work and personal time.

A person biking was hit by a car driver on 35th, where our illustrious mayor decided that we don’t need bike lanes after a long advocacy fight.

I just want to go ride my bike in the country without any cars around me. Will someone tell me where I can do that?

Vacation starts in 12 days! :)

Here are a few fun things from hiking and biking that I’ve seen lately. Life really isn’t so bad.

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If I don’t ride today, that makes 3 days in a row that I haven’t biked. Throw that goal out the window. But I was talking to my friend about it and she asked me why I wanted to do it anyway. I ride more than anyone she knows. I realized that it was just another popular thing to do. I do want to encourage others to ride more–I don’t have to ride more to do that.

On Sunday, I ran 3 miles, then went with my brother to Marble Mountain Sno-Park to hike Mount Saint Helens on Sunday. We got up at 3am, started up the mountain at 4:15, but turned around by 7am just past the permit point (4800 ft) when it was obvious that the rain was not going to let up. We returned to the parking lot at 9 am with every piece of clothing we were wearing totally soaked. I stayed warm in my ski clothes, but my brother was really cold by then–he’d only worn rain gear and a puffy jacket.

It wasn’t that disappointing not to make it all the way up. It was cloudy enough that there wouldn’t be any views and we made it last year, so I have that summit under my belt.

I didn’t take any pictures up there, but I did take a few of the new day use lodge. It really improves the place.

I’m not as good about posting daily on social media, so I’m just going to have a periodic check in here for #30daysofbiking

I always have a few days that I miss, so this might be* my first successful year.

  • April 1: Rode home from Kitsap Memorial State Park, then again up to Capitol Hill
  • April 2: Cap Hill to City Hall for bike advocacy, then a failed shopping attempt at Macy’s and Westlake Center (fire alarm on the second stop)
  • April 3: Bartell Drugs for an immunization and Stone Hardware for plant seeds and tools

*I have a couple of overnight trips that don’t include biking, so if I can’t muster up the energy to bike around the block after climbing Mount Saint Helens, I could fail this year as well.

I’m going to go out and plant some of those seeds now. I hope I don’t blow away!

…bikes? Vacations? Gummy bears?

I know most of my bikey friends are all about the n+1, but after a round of “fix all the things!” and bike shopping and frustration, I decided to upgrade my Surly Pacer and sell Lucille, the Bike Friday Tikit.

Lucille went home with a very nice man from Tacoma, whom I hope will find her quite trustworthy, especially with all her new components. I know that my mechanic will be happy to know she’s moved far away. He always did a wonderful job repairing her, but she was a pain in the ass.

My Surly Pacer–I’m thinking about naming her Dark Star after the Fremont Brewing’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout, which is my favorite winter beer. “Dark Star crashes, pouring its light into ashes, so follow as the Lady of Velvet recedes in the nights of goodbye. This one is too smooth …”–is all fixed up with new wheels, cassette and chain, bar end shifters, brake levers, front deraileur, fairly new chainrings and got herself a nice tune up. The gearing is the major improvement with an 11/30 instead of a 12/25. I was able to ride the way it was, but now I’m not sure why I did for so long. It’s like having a whole new bike.

I also cleaned the frame up and used some rustoleum spray paint to protect it. She is so pretty.

We took a 2 week sail in early July. It was a lot of fun with stops in Victoria Canada, Sidney Island, Jones Island, Friday Harbor, Lopez Island, Sucia, and Port Townsend. Lopez was really great and flat, allowing us to bike all over with the kids, visiting the farmers market, the grocery, and the bird sanctuary with them. Click on the picture to see more sailing photos.

And this last weekend, Chris and I went bike camping. We rode out separately, since I was off on Thursday and he came out on Friday night. We rode back together on Sunday. The rest of my family, whom we met there, drove and I still kick myself for not taking a picture of my bike among all of those cars. Again, click on the photo for more pictures of that adventure.

Right now I’m procrastinating on the final packing for our cruise to Alaska. This is on an actual cruise ship, not on Raven. I’m going to miss our hobbit hole. It might be time for a nap.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about my wish list and what it really means. All of those things are meant to make me and those I care about happier.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting grumpy more often than I did in the past. For some reason being grumpy or unhappy seems like a shameful thing and it’s really hard to admit that it happens. When I look back over the more stressful moments in the last few months, though, I see the pattern. If I hadn’t been in a bad mood, hadn’t been grumpy, those stressful times would not have been so bad. Even though I didn’t actively pursue jealousy and try to take things from others, I was letting my feelings of inadequacy affect my life and the happiness of my family.

There have been times in my life when I’ve realized there is something I need to change about myself, and I went and did it. I needed better self esteem–I went to counseling and worked on changing my attitude. I needed to direct my own life instead of allowing circumstances or other people to guide me–I made that change.

Green Eyed Monster by O-r-c-h-i-d-e-a (cc license)

When trying to uncover the source of my grumpiness, I realized that I was usually unhappy after having some competitive confrontation; something that got in my face and made me feel bad for not being good enough. So I did a Google search: “how do I stop feeling competitive.” I found this article from Life Hacker by Melanie Pinola, which made me realize that it’s not necessarily competitiveness that I’m feeling, it’s jealousy. Whatever issues you find in this article, it made me look at myself in a new way and admit my flaw. And now I’m admitting it on the internet, which means that I have accepted the flaw and I know I have to fix it.

The wish list was my first attempt at fixing my moods, even though I was not thinking about it that way at the time. Now I am very consciously looking at what is making me grumpy, and I found that I was comparing myself to others and feeling lacking. Sometimes this was in social situations where I felt left out, sometimes it’s at work where others are doing good work or I felt my work wasn’t recognized, sometimes it’s on the ride to work where someone passed me. I can see now that this all goes back to self esteem and that maybe instead of fixing that flaw, I covered it up.

My first steps will be to:

  • stop comparing myself to others–or at least notice when I do it and nip it in the bud
  • treat myself well–which will include yoga and morning runs with some rockin’ music
  • and practicing gratitude–reminding myself daily about all of the wonderful people and things in my life. Aren’t they amazing?

The plumbing is in and functioning, which makes me so happy. We’re staying on the boat a couple of nights a week–so far when the kids are not with us. This Saturday we’re taking the plunge and The Mister will be moving them to the boat. Which reminds me, I still need to make the safety sheet for the middle one’s bunk. She’s a little worried she’ll fall out, which keeps her from falling asleep.

Here’s a video update from The Mister:

Isn’t Raven beautiful? Our new rigging is in and just waiting for the marine guys to have time to put them all back on. The Mister is almost done making upgrades to the mast.

After our cold snap, I will be happy when we have a bigger heater. It was cooooold in there and the space heaters only did so much.

My new commute is only about 1.5 miles longer, but I must say it takes a toll. Especially when combined with meetings downtown that require an extra 7 or so miles. I’ve had no problem meeting my Google Fit goal of 1 hour a day. I should probably increase it, but I’d rather set a weekly goal.

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.

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.

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.

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