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Life sometimes gets away from me. Early in April, my grandmother went to the hospital and then passed away, all in the span of 2 weeks. Then there were the arrangements and the memorial. There’s more, but not for me to worry about, since I’m not named in the will. Some will find this odd, but I’m glad I’m not. I loved my grandmother dearly and I don’t really want to be involved in the dismantling of her life and her home.

When she was young.

The view I will always remember

Since then, I’ve been buried in work, helping plan out trainings for my peers that  will pave the way for Teen Service Learning in our library system. It’s ambitious and I’m excited to see how it will work out for us and our teen patrons.

Chris has been working on Raven’s diesel motor for the last month as well. That day that we were supposed to have our second sailing adventure, I had to bail to go tothe hospital. He went out with our friends and the motor stalled. They still got out for a little while, but it was the start of quite a few problems–more going wrong with each thing fixed. It’s ending up being almost a complete overhaul, but hopefully when that’s done we’ll be underway once again. I’m not sure we’re going to make our Mystery Bay plans for Memorial Day weekend.

She did serve as a great place to have a party. Yesterday was completely gorgeous. I couldn’t have planned better for our Bike to Work team BBQ. We combined with the other SPL team and had around 25 people on Raven to celebrate.

There were more people below deck!

This is my third year being team captain and it’s really fun to motivate people to ride. And now I’m looking forward to our next party.

Here’s the bike when I went to pick up swag for my team.

Tonight we’ll be breaking out the bbq things again to celebrate The Boy’s 21st birthday. Hard to believe.

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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.

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?)

As usual, I make a promise in a blog post and then forget all about it. At the end of Shift in Focus, I said I’d tell you all about Raven in my next boat related post. Then I posted 2 more times about boat stuff, but no introduction! So here I am, making amends.

The Mister has been doing research on sailboats that would be a good option for live-aboard since I’ve met him. Not just for him, but his 3 children and now me as well. His criteria has changed over time with all the looking and bringing me and the kids on board some of his finds. He’s mostly used Yacht World and Craigslist to do online boat shopping.

We knew we needed enough room where the kids were comfortable and a head that didn’t smell (their biggest complaint about our current boat). The Mister finally found a good layout in the Vagabond 47. He didn’t find our Raven right away. In fact, he looked at several others and lost a lead on one in Oregon before he went down to Los Angeles and Marina Del Ray to see Raven.

Here is a G+ album of pictures that the broker took for us before The Mister went down to see it. Here is the original sale post (although this will probably disappear in time). Just an FYI, he did not pay the full asking price. During the haul out and survey there were a few things that need to be fixed. Some before she can sail, so she’ll be decommissioned and hauled up to Seattle. We also intend to replace the counters and sinks in the galley and heads before we move in.

I fell in love with the pictures, but also knew that nothing is as good when you see it in person. The Mister thought this one was different with a broker taking the pictures. He took a chance and went down to look at her and he was very happy with what he found. I came down to see her during the survey, and I was also very happy.

See? Happy!

We still can’t believe how beautiful these teak decks are. We really didn’t think we’d want anything with wood on the deck. Too much of a chance that what’s underneath is no good.

Fast forward to yesterday: The Mister signed the final papers and paid Washington State sales tax. He’s secured moorage at Shilshole Bay Marina and Raven should be coming out of the water for final prepping for her journey in the next week or so. Wish us luck!

I’m thinking about the things I want to take with me. There are certain things that I really enjoy, like a cold beer in my bike pint glass or a warm cup of coffee in a mug. Plastic and stainless just won’t do it.

I also have a mess of spices–and I mean a mess. I don’t want messes on the boat. Space is limited and I don’t want to live like a hoarder. I’ve always had a little problem with accumulating things in the corners of my room or not organizing things that would be easy to organize with the right containers. The spice drawer is one of the latter.

I’ve found a couple of options for spices. One is just using a rack and being really selective with what I keep. The other is to get these snap in holders and plastic containers.

SpiceStor 10-Pack 2″ Spice Bottle Set with Organizer

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about keeping my spices in plastic, but these seem like a good solution. If you click on the picture it should take you to a user review on Amazon. You can stick these to the inside of your cupboard and people seem very happy with how they stay put.

The Mister and I are going on a road trip this week and I think that when we get back I will order one of these and give them a try. If they pass my test, I’ll purchase enough to hold all of my essentials. This will also be a good test of my ability to get rid of perfectly good things that I don’t use.

Here’s a little eye candy to make getting through the boring post worth it:

Raven from the bowsprit. What a beautiful deck!

I think I’ve always struggled a little bit with this blog because I don’t have a sharp focus for the content. That’s probably not going to get any better. However, I have a new subject that I’d like to add in, which is pretty far off from my norm.  I may lose readers (ha! I’d have to have more than 5 to be too worried about that).

The Mister has purchased a sailboat. Yes, I know he already had one. That one will go up for sale and we will eventually move onto this new one. Just for you trolls out there, I will disclose that I have nothing to do financially with the purchase of this or the previous vessel. However, I will be moving onto it and paying part of the mortgage/moorage, so I’ll have a fair investment into how we outfit her. There are a few luxuries that I don’t want to give up, like ceramic coffee mugs, that will require some innovative storage solutions to make sure they don’t break while we are sailing.

It will be 8-10 months before we make the move, so I have some time to figure these things out. While I don’t want to buy a bunch of duplicates in order to test these solutions out, I do want to make sure I get the best thing I can for each situation. So, to keep track of my efforts and research, I’ll be using some of my blog posts to document the process of outfitting our beautiful new home.

Her name is Raven, and I’ll tell you all about her in my next boat related post.

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series is just as entertaining as Carriger’s adult romances, minus the romance and raunchiness. It has a good bit of snark that her readers will find endearing, and a smart girl protagonist that really leads the show.

Set in an alternate steampunk history with floating finishing schools and a mysterious communication device that somehow runs without wires, Etiquette & Espionage hints at being a prequel to the Parasol Protectorate series.

I love Sophronia. This will be on my 2014 Book Talk list for my next school visit.

View all my reviews

One week from now, this time, I should be at the end of my first day of STP.  I missed my last semi-long training ride yesterday.  I thought I had the day off, but was sadly informed that was not so by a coworker the day before.  I have my priorities straight though, I did get off a bit early yesterday to go to the International Beerfest at the Seattle Center with a couple of friends.

The new Mr. rode in STP in previous years but told me he’ll only ride next year if we do it in one day. I did ask for a boyfriend that would challenge me ;)  He’s not riding this year, although he is meeting me in Portland on Sunday and driving me back on Monday.  He’ll get to attend our celebratory dinner as well.  The first part of the weekend he’s moving his sailboat down from Anacortes to a much closer moorage.

I’m currently missing him since he and the girls are camping at Mount Rainier and I am stuck here working.  Crossword puzzle lady has called twice, which would be great to break up the time if she weren’t so annoying.  Soon I get to go home and partake of a bbq that my housemates are throwing.

Wow, I haven’t been here for a while.  Lots of things have changed and every time I sat down to write all of it felt a little too heavy to drop on the page.  Nothing is bad, there was just a lot of life going on.

I suppose bad is relative though.  I did break up with the Mister.  Long distance relationships wear you down after a while, and for me, our relationship got worn down to nothing.  There’s no he said, she said, just an end and a new beginning.  I am happy being single and it isn’t that different from being in a long distance relationship.  At the moment, I’m happy being me.  Maybe someone else will come along that is also happy with me being me and we can be happy together.  There should probably be a law against using the word happy that many times in a paragraph.

Libraryland has been wonderful.  I’ve been participating in our programming committee and feel like this is a group who’s work will make a difference.  I got approved to have a Teen Space at my branch too, in addition to Teen Advisory, so now we will have a once a month hang out spot just for teens.  Reading Marathon is coming up in about a week and we go next week to the middle school to promote it at lunch hour.  I love having a specific program to promote–ok, I just love tabling and all the teens I see.  I feel like a mini celebrity bribing the kids with candy to love me (I mean, love the library of course). Oh and we got a new regional manager.  Yup, another new manager.

The Boy is very nice to have around.  He’s at an awkward phase where he wants to be a gentleman, but he forgets sometimes and lapses back into teen sas.  I am diligent in reminding him to “be nice” and he’s always pretty quick to come around.  Unless there’s school work involved, then it takes him a little longer.  He got a bit of a scare this quarter though, so even that attitude is changing.  For now.  I understand wanting to be in charge of your own life but failing school isn’t a good way of proving you’re ready to be a man.  Oh, and when it takes you two days to empty the dishwasher, that means I have to wait that long to do the dishes. (That’s an exaggeration, in case you’re wondering). We’ve been having a nice time together generally.  The power struggles have gotten shorter and we have some pretty good conversations when we sit on the couch in the evenings.

This snow is awesome.  I had Wednesday off to take The Boy to his doctor appointments, but of course they were all canceled.  I stocked up on groceries on Tuesday night and I’m super glad because I haven’t been outside for the last 2 days for more than taking pictures and taking out the trash.  I got the house clean and organized yesterday and now am enjoying the warmth and quiet.  I think I’m going to go hang out in my newly reassembled bed for some quality reading time.  Hopefully my legs will not atrophy before my 6 mile run on Sunday.

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