Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Running Rigging, Halyards, and Boom Vangs...

Remember this pretty lady?

Well, the title was dropped off this weekend and I now own 1/3 of her (with Cris and Maggie holding the other 2/3). I am so, so very excited. :) In fact, I think I may be enjoying being part owner more than I would have enjoyed being sole owner; for one, there's three times the excitement! ;) For another, there are two other people to split the work (and cost!) of cleaning, buying new running rigging, and figuring out where to get it bottom painted.

Just to be clear, this definitely doesn't mean that any of us knows what we're doing; in fact, a conversation between Cris and I this evening went something like this:

Me: Is it okay if I go ahead and order new running rigging? We can't sail without it.
Cris: Sure! Let me know what my share is. What's running rigging?
Me: A traveler, a halyard, and a boom vang.
Cris: A what?
Me: A boom vang.
Cris: What's a boom vang?
Me: I have no idea. But we need a new one.


So far our immediate checklist looks something like this: order and then install new running rigging; get the paperwork done so it's properly titled and registered; give it a good cleaning; beg/pester the previous owner to finish giving us the cushions, curtains, etc, as well as the anchor (without which we can't sail, and I really don't want to spend upwards of $60 on a new one when the anchor that came with our boat is sitting in a storage locker somewhere); get ourselves up to speed on the Coast Guard safety requirements. I'm sure there's more to be done... but that's a start! :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dirt, Mostly

If I could sum up today with one word, it would be dirt. Some of which (feels like most of which) I'm still wearing, on my clothes, under my fingernails, on my skin (aggravated by the fact that I covered myself in sunscreen this afternoon before going out. Because, y'all, melanoma is real). But I finished making my vertical pallet garden! And then I filled it with potting soil and got all my seedlings planted. Honestly, the entire process was way, way more complicated, difficult, and time consuming than I thought it would be. Everyone on Pinterest makes it look so easy! I'm already thinking about how to make it easier/better, but for this year, I'm so done lol.

The pallet garden contains watermelon (lowest levels, so the fruit can rest on the ground!), squash, pickles, and tomatoes, and the top shelf has my herb pots. Since I have two empty spaces, and since I seem to have gotten the hang of keeping already-grown herb plants alive (don't laugh - two plants died while I was learning), I'm thinking the logical next step would be to try raising some herbs from seeds - maybe oregano and more dill?

I also attacked my big planter - I bought it last year for a steal from Ross because I loved the shape and color (a metallic copper-gray), and even though it was advertised for indoor/outdoor use, the thing has given me absolutely no end of grief. First, I realized as I was filling it that it didn't have drainage holes, and I was in a hurry, so I didn't take the time to fix it, meaning that for most of this past year, the thing has been full of water, despite my frequent tipping it over on it's side, killing anything I planted. Then it rusted almost immediately. :( So today I gave it a quick rinse, quickly scrubbed off the rust, and hit it with a blast of boring black spray-paint. Boring, but effective! So much better.

I also spent some time stripping the heat tape and insulation off of my white water hose and storing them for next year, and cleaning up my yard in general. I still need to use the weedwacker tomorrow, which I'm kind of dreading, but at least now everything seasonal is stashed and out of the way.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Y'all, my phone  - my practically new phone - my smartphone - my Internet connection/phonebook/calendar/PDA - broke this week. I'm thinking it's the charging part, because if I pop the battery out and charge it using somebody else's phone, then pop it back in, presto! I have a working phone again. But it won't charge using a cord unless I'm willing to spend a lot of time performing strange gymnastics to get/keep the connection at just the right angle, and probably hold it there myself. :(

I hate to be one of those people who whines about how lost they feel without their cell phone, but I will admit to feeling a little bit of panic when I realized that  the possibility of ending up without a phone for a few days was a very real possibility. Not only is it a "security blanket" in a very real sense (after all, knowing that if I break down on the road late at night, or hear a disturbing noise in the middle of the night, or whatever, I can call for backup), but it's also my main connection to the people in my life. At night, right before I go to sleep, I love to scroll through my Facebook feed and see how my BFF, my mom, my close friends spent their day. What made them stop and think. What beautiful things they saw. And when I'm waiting in line or need a 5 minute vacation, I love to read my favorite blogs and grab some inspiration.

And, of course, from a strictly practical viewpoint, I kinda need my phone for work. I had a job last night and I couldn't get my phone working til almost an hour before I had to leave, and I was panicking all day hoping that the mom wasn't trying to get in touch with me.

Thankfully - and truly, I am sososo thankful for this! - the same model phone is on sale at Wal-Mart.com and comes with a free month of service, so the replacement will only cost me about $10 and arrive by Wednesday. In the meantime, I'm praying I can continue to keep it running until it gets here. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Restful Productivity"

Since I'm only working two jobs this week, my goal was/is "restful productivity." I have a lot I want to accomplish, but also, life has been busybusybusy for awhile and I really want to regain my creative footing, catch up on some sleep, and rejuvenate my soul.

I got off on the wrong foot, lol, as I packed the weekend full of good stuff - going dancing, a road-trip with Cris and Maggie to Ikea that included a stop to look at tiny-house-convertible sheds and Starbucks, and ended with dinner by the docks on Solomon's Island. All in all - a good weekend, but by the time Monday rolled around, I was beat! :)

So far the week has been quieter. I was able to get a lot of cleaning done inside yesterday, so from this point forward I'll be focusing on organizing and purging. (I still have a few "cleaning" projects left, but they'll have to wait.)

This weekend I officially moved all my plants outside! I still cover the seedlings at night, mostly because I have a "pet" rabbit who lives under my trailer that I suspect would just love a dinner of tasty fresh plants. ;)

And I seem to have finally managed to keep my herbs alive. After losing three of my original six plants (the German thyme, boxwood basil and dill) I replaced them with sweet basil and garden sage, both of which seem to be much hardier. So now I have sage, parsley, basil, and rosemary. The parsley was failing terribly last week, and after doing some research, with fear and trembling I "attacked" it with my garden shears and gave it a good trimming. As scared as I was that I wasn't doing it right, it perked right up and a bunch of new leaves popped around the bottom (which is exactly what I wanted - bushy, not tall) and it's now restored to the proper healthy green color. Amen!

My strawberries haven't produced any more berries but they seem happy enough in their pots. I'm still debating whether to find a big pot to put them in, or whether to plant them in the ground and cover them with straw for next year. (Can you overwinter strawberry plants in pots? I have no idea, but I doubt it...)

I was trying to find out if I'd ever mentioned it in a post before (and apparently I have not), but my frog is back! We have a rather lovely, rather large, bright green, smooth-skinned frog who lived in our pool when it was set up, and when my trailer replaced the pool, he switched to living in a pot of water during the day (that I kept refilled for him lol) and at night he crawled up to my bedroom window and hummed. I enjoyed falling asleep to the sound and was sad when he disappeared come fall. Well, yesterday I went to water my plants and as I was moving my watering can, Mr. Frog emerged to let me know that this was his chosen home for the summer. I quickly replaced him, and I look forward to listening to his song all summer. :)

Well, I'm off to go see "my" boat, which Crisy has decided to go in on with me! Eee! So excited. :) Today we're going to show it to her and enjoy a picnic lunch on the dock while we discuss boat ownership details. Then tonight I have swim, and in the meantime I have a chicken covered in Tennessee "Smoke and Barbecue" rub roasting in my crockpot. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My 27 Feet: Spring Uodate

Summer and winter are sooo different when you're full-timing. You're a little more aware of the weather forecast, and a little more grateful for nice weather when it comes. :) While spring took for-e-ver to arrive this year (I mean seriously! That was a crazy-cold winter!), it's finally here. This is my first springtime in the trailer, and I've enjoyed getting ready for spring much more than I "enjoyed" preparing for winter LOL!

Some notes for next year:

- I stopped running my propane heat two or three weeks ago, but turned it on at night with the thermostat set very low, just in case. Last week I realized it had been a while since I'd heard it kick on during the night, so I turned it off. For the season. Booyah! (I can almost hear the "ching, ching" of saving money! While I'm grateful for the heat, grateful for how easy to heat my trailer is compared to some other full-timers I know, and grateful for my BJ's membership that makes my propane so affordable... I'm so excited about not having to refill my tanks as often!)

- The one thing I have not been able to make myself give up yet is my electric blanket. Which I'm totally addicted to. :( I love slipping into a warmed bed, and even if I do overheat during the night, I generally toss it off over my body pillow and snuggle. (I swear, I'm such a baby.)

- The weather has been pretty mild so far, and I've enjoyed opening all my windows and screen door. It makes the place feel so much bigger! It doesn't do much to cool everything, though, until the sun goes down. Unfortunately, the way I have the trailer placed, parallel to the house, means I can't take advantage of the breeze very well. If I wasn't limited by proximity to the sewer/water hookup, I'd rotate it by 90 degrees and take advantage of the wind.

- I have run my AC twice, once for about fifteen minutes just to cool everything down before bedtime on a very hot day, and one day when I was sick with a stomach virus, became pretty light-sensitive, and wanted the windows shut. I'm going to try to wait as long as possible before I start running it (but I'm not very heat-resistant, so we'll see).

- One thing I have been doing, though, both for my own comfort and because I worry about the girls overheating in their cage while I'm away, is to run the fan system on the warmest days. Keeping the air moving really helps keep things inside cool (especially overnight, when I shut everything up) and I enjoy having the white noise to sleep to. ;)

- I am remembering, though, how hot it got last year. There's no helping it - I basically live in a tin can. I am hoping to get my awning unrolled this year to cool the air around the windows of the main living area, but other than that, I think "beat the heat" will be a relative term.

- Final note: I haven't taken down my heated hose yet, but only because I've been busy the past several weekends. However, it's on my to-do list this weekend. I've decided I'm not going to store it as-is, as was my original plan, but disassemble the waterline, insulation, foil, and heat tape and just store the heat tape. The reason for this is that, while my setup worked really well this winter, I had to make changes several times that required ripping open the insulation and foil. Now that I have a much better idea of what to do, I'm going to trash the ripped foil and insulation (both of which are cheap, cheap, cheap at Lowes) and put it back together again next year. Hopefully next spring I'll just have to unhook both ends of my hose, drain the hose, coil it, and store it. :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beautiful Sights

We've gotten back into the habit of going dancing with the local traditional music group on the second Saturday of each month. I'd forgotten how much I loved it - the physical rush of dancing, matched by the emotional soaring of the music, and the sense of community, the "we're all in this together!" feeling I get as I watch friends old and new come together on the floor.
I ate the first strawberries off my plants this week (not these - the ones I ate were really and truly ripe). They weren't very good; strawberries need sunshine and open air, and it's been too cold and wet for my plants to go outside. But I keep the faith and wait.
Should I get a boat? Should I get this boat? It's a question that's been weighing heavily on my mind. ;) This boat, while requiring some elbow grease and a little initial investment in parts and work, would be free, and it's so, so tempting. Look at how beautiful she is!
All these seeds went into the ground at the same time, from the same packet, so you can imagine my amusement at this ambitious seedling dubbed an "overachiever" by a Facebook friend. I cannot wait to get all my seedlings into my newly painted pallet garden.
And that - that, my friends, is lettuce. Which makes me happy. Because it was supposed to take 7-10 days to germinate, but instead popped out overnight. Because nothing is better than truly fresh lettuce. Because when I buy lettuce at the store, it almost inevitably dies when I put it in my fridge. Just because. :)
I'm remembering now what it's like to live in a "tin can" during the warm months. :) Luckily, the heat is tempered by the charm of having my windows open to the outdoors, and everything cools quickly as soon as the sun sets. I'm looking forward to being able to run my system fan or AC all night - I like some white noise while I sleep. 
Look at my latest finds! I was amused at the tea, but once I smelled it I fell in love with the smell. And the lemon olive oil? Amazing. I cannot wait to make some olive oil cake tonight.
It might end up being a key lime/lemon cake, since I have all these lovely key limes just crying out for a squeeze in my new juicer. ;)
And... yes, I bought a candle. Despite the fact that my candle stash has become quite large and I easily have enough candles to last me through the summer, even at the rate that I'm going. But this one was sandalwood, and I haven't found a good sandalwood candle since my favorite one got used up a few weeks after I moved in. And I can leave myself messages on this one - and admit it, sometimes you just need a little note to remind yourself about what's important! :)