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I had a very good day off yesterday. I spent the morning tiding up a few ends and pieces, then went out to the garage and worked on the derailleurs on Stella, the Kona Sutra. My front has been traveling too far–and I didn’t get that fixed, so I will need to take another look at it on Monday. My rear has been skipping and making noise, but still mostly shifted okay. Once I started in on it, things seemed a little more messed up. I realized I didn’t have the full range and that shifting was off by at least one ring. I ended up having to adjust the cable, and since I don’t have a tensioner, I had to push the derailleur to where I thought it should be, hold the cable and bolt in place while turning the allen wrench, then try again over and over until I finally got it. The cable end was pretty frayed by the time I was done. I then realized I was late and couldn’t test it.

So I took Dark Star out for a ride instead. That bike is just so delightful after riding my Kona fully loaded with commute gear for weeks on end. It’s just always ready to go with minimal worry. The brakes are always perfect, things shift just right, it’s light and fast. Add a little air to the tires or lube to the chain and off I go. The frustration of working on the derailleurs drifted away.

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I rode up to Kite Hill at Gas Works Park and met a friend. We sat and watched the people. Someone walked by below with a huge hundred dollar bill under their arm. Someone else had a picture taken in front of the chain link fence.  A young couple with kids argued about their destination, top of the hill or the playground with broad gestures.

We had lunch at the Pacific Inn and then I left him to ride up Stone Way. I had tickets for the Tilth Edible Plant Pre-sale, but that didn’t start for an hour, so I stopped for gelato and socks on the way. I do love socks.

At the plant sale, I met my best friend and we followed each other around to the different areas and chose just a few plants. I got sweet basil, mojito mint, and a variety of tomato called pineapple which is supposed to grow large yellowish orange tomatoes with a sweet flavor. These plants should compliment the seedlings I have popping up in the planters now. More tomatoes, a variety of peppers, lettuces, cucumbers, carrots, green onions and lemon balm. It’s fun seeing their little green heads pushing out of the soil.

I finished off the evening watching Star Trek: Discovery with my roommate.

The best thing is, when I rode Stella to work this morning, my rear derailleur worked like a dream.

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!

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.

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