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…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.

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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.

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!

 

We were downtown this afternoon, playing tourist, when I remembered there was a Cost Plus nearby. They have all kinds of interesting kitchen gadgets, and I was pretty certain that they would have the size of spice container I wanted. And they did!

Spice Containers

I only got four for now. I’ve filled them with some of my most used spices and the size seems perfect. Here they are on our current fridge.

You might think I like curry and chili powder…and you’d be right.

If these continue to hold up over the next few months, I’ll buy more for the more ordinary spices, like basil and marjoram. 

The Mister spent some time cleaning out Serenity and I stayed with the kids and pumped up the paddle boards for a little fun. I figured out that the pumping is what makes my arms sore, rather than paddling. That explains why kayaking on Friday didn’t do me in.

That sounds like an admission of guilt or something.  In reality, I’ve just been living and not really had anything I wanted to write about.  Life keeps on moving.  The boy went back to his father’s house shortly after my last post, things got really busy at the library and my energy was needed for other things.

On to bigger and better things:

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May is bike to work month and I’ve been going full swing.  My plan is to ride 100% to work this month and I’ve done it so far, with only a few days left to go.  I’ve got 227 commuting miles under my belt and have actually ridden at least 20 more (I stopped keeping track) for side trips before or after work.  My team is amazing, having ridden 1130 miles this month so far.  We’re beating our rival team by over 200 miles.

The boy and I went to the University Street Fair on Saturday and we got him a bunch of art supplies for his birthday.  I let him pick what he wanted, but was happy that he asked my opinion.  I’m not terribly artistic, but I’ve used most mediums at some point or another and have had artists as friends, so I was able to steer him towards some nice brush and thin tip markers and we got him a calligraphy set inspired by an artist we saw at an all ages show last year.

On Sunday we went to my dad’s and I put the new bike together…well, mostly.  It turns out I was missing a headset, so I’ve ordered that and I don’t think that will be hard to put on.  Then I’ll need to practice because I’ve never spent much time on a road bike.  It’s really different from the upright of a mountain bike.  I am so excited to ride this bike during STP.

And finally, I’m seeing a new special someone.  It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’m optimistic (probably too much so).  I keep expecting someone to jump out at me and say “you’re not allowed to be this happy, give that back!”  He’s sweet and strong and fun and that’s all you get for now.

Ciao!

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