Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Midweek!

People. Y'alls. It's Wednesday. Normally I'm not too terribly excited about Wednesday - it's too early to celebrate the weekend, and usually busy, and yeah. Especially when I have to work all weekend, as I've been doing as of late, Wednesdays are just another day to plow through.

But this week I have off the entire weekend and I have next week off from swim, which means I'll be home every evening at a decent hour, and I only work one day for job #3, so yes! I will have some downtime!

I'm choosing to look at the bright side, here, and tell you about all the lovely things I plan to do with my downtime, because let me just say, I could be telling you instead about how crazy busy this week has been, with the last classes of this session wrapping up at swim, and this being crunch week for the church drama program (and the crazy amount of "drama" that's going on with my drama this year - good Lord!), and how truly tired I am. Like, all the time. Life has been go-go-go for a long time and I need a break.

But instead, here's what I'm looking forward to:
  • Cooking and baking. Super excited about being home in time to actually cook dinner, and maybe bake something sweet.
  • Swimming. Not teaching swimming, mind, but just being able to relax in the water and maybe practice my strokes and not worry about anyone drowning or kicking properly or whatnot.
  • Sleeping in this weekend, and going to bed early next week. Yeah. Enough said.
  • Spending some time with my brother. He's officially unemployed right now, and happy to be so (lol) so we're planning on taking a trip to the marina to look at boats, going to see a movie or two, and taking a ride in his Jeep with the top down. :)
  • Doing some things from my bucket list. Specifically, I have an idea for #6 that I can't WAIT to send to my BFF. ;)
I hope your summer is moving at a much slower pace than mine is! :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Running Rigging, Halyards, and Boom Vangs (Part 2)

It has been almost a month since we took possession of the boat, and this Saturday was literally the first day we've all had free since then. We've been talking a lot about everything that needed to be done - namely, buying and installing new running rigging, getting some paperwork done, and investigating getting it scraped and bottom painted - and this weekend we started tackling our to-do list. Starting with the rigging.

I'd used the Catalina Direct website to get price estimates, so we were expecting to spend a bit over $300 for the running rigging and halyards with shipping. Then I realized that we have a West Marine about thirty minutes away (as opposed to the one 2+ hours away that I thought was the closest one) so we decided to buy it there and save the shipping cost (which was substantial). The thing about buying them there, however, is that we had to know exactly the length and dimensions of each piece of line, instead of ordering them specifically for our boat and having them arrive already cut to size.

I spent several hours over the course of several days looking for some website that listed the pieces we'd need, to no avail. Everyone said the info would be included in our owner's manual, so naturally, I checked. It wasn't. Dad insisted it had to be, so he checked. It wasn't. We called West Marine to see if maybe they had the specs on file or something similar, to be told that no, we definitely needed to know exactly what we wanted when we came in.

Finally, I pulled up the CD website to see if the "item descriptions" included length and dimension - and it did! Hallelujah! So we made out a list and headed out. :)

For the record - in case somebody else out there also wants to replace the running rigging on their Catalina 22 - here's what we got:
  • Mainsheet: 65' X 3/8"
  • Replacement boom vang line: 28' X 5/16"
  • Outhaul line: 15' X 1/4"
  • Traveler control lines (2): 10' X 1/4" each

 It ended up coming to less than $150 for rigging, and we estimate we'll spend another $60 for the halyards, so we saved quite a bit over the CD prices. Plus, we were able to introduce ourselves to the very friendly employees at West Marine, which I understand from seasoned boaters is a must. :)

Now, even though I knew that "running rigging" is just sailor-speak for "rope for sailing," I've had this mental picture of running rigging being complicated pieces of rope with precisely placed pieces of complicated hardware fused in, that required great skill and knowledge to install.

Turns out, not so much. Running rigging really is just rope, in various sizes and colors (we amused the guy doing the cutting when we debated which colors were prettiest). We took Dad with us to keep us from looking like idiots (which ended up being an excellent decision, lol) and pretty soon we had everything cut and fused and ready to go.

With my dad's help, once at the dock we had everything installed in under an hour, including some stops to learn how to tie knots: bowline, figure eight, and double half turn. My dad also fiddled with the halyards a bit (which we hadn't bought, since we weren't 100% sure what we needed) and gave me the final decision on what to get.

We also took the time to off-load everything from the cabin, inventory what we had and properly stow all the stuff that was staying aboard.

As soon as we were done rigging, it was time to clean! We had picked up some "boat soap" at West Marine (pink, to Cris's delight) and began by hosing everything down and doing some scrubbing. It soon became pretty apparent that the boat soap wouldn't cut some of the heavier grime, so we switched to using the bottles of SoftScrub and Tilex that the previous owner had left us. The SoftScrub worked better on the toughest stains, and we'll probably do another cleaning session using just that. Our boat seemed to expand the longer we scrubbed, lol, and there were some spots that seemed impossible to reach without falling overboard - the narrow strip between the rail and the side of the cabin, for instance. We'll be picking up a skinny brush to get into some of the tougher spots later on, but it was a good start.

About halfway through our cleaning, I volunteered to go refill Maggie's Camelbak (I had ulterior motives - I was dying of thirst myself! lol). As I was walking back down the pier, I noticed the extra wooden door we had discovered in the cabin (and set on the pier) was now in the water, floating away! I pointed this out in a bit of a panic, and Maggie reacted by informing me that her cell phone had been sitting on top of it! :( She ran down the pier and retrieved our door (thank goodness for long arms) but her cell was nowhere to be seen. :( Since she had a pretty hefty case on it, we thought it might be floating around somewhere, but we didn't see it and figured it had either sunk immediately or floated off. I walked back up the hill to ask my Dad if he'd like to try to use a net and see if he could scoop it off the bottom of the creek; he was extremely skeptical about the possibility of retrieving it, but agreed, and began scooping. Wonder of wonders, a couple of minutes later, he actually fished it up! :) Maggie gave it a good rinsing in clean water, we bought her one of those drying sacks for wet electronics, and we're waiting to see if it can be resuscitated.

The only other casualty of the day was Crisy's jeans; she was scrubbing in a kneeling position in the cockpit when Maggie noticed that the area she'd just worked on had turned blue! Sure enough, the bleach from the cleaner was making her jeans run. I was also covered in splotches of cleaner, so we figured both our jeans were toast, but when I pulled them out of the dryer today, they didn't have a speck on them. Niiice! The shirt I was wearing is toast, however... I forgot to rinse the cleaner off when I got home and it's pretty splattered. No worries - I already have a craft project in mind! ;)

Still a lot to do before we get to cast off and sail away... but we're getting closer! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I am... completely amazed at how much Abigail has changed since last summer. Last year was all about moonsand and sprinklers and curling up on the couch reading together, and this year it's all summer schoolwork ("I have to keep my mind sharp," she tells me) and reading by herself and going to the pool to practice her freestyle. Again, by herself. I am both excited about this new stage, and profoundly sad.

I am... missing my triplets. I'm so glad I get to see them tomorrow! :) I bought the girls bunny rabbit rompers while I was in Alabama, and I just can't wait to see them in them - they're gonna be so cute!

I am... eating better food. And by better, I mean, not half as great-tasting as I've been eating, but tons better for me. ;) Between my trip to Alabama, my beach vacation, and my birthday, I've been eating like a king, but now I'm craving a detox. On today's menu: yogurt, fruit, veggies, hummus, homemade fish tacos for lunch, and grilled chicken and veggies for dinner.

I am... still thinking about Matt Smith's last lines as The Doctor. We watched "Time Of The Doctor" the night before my birthday and I just thought his final scene was so exuberant, I was laughing for joy. Maggie and I have both admitted to wanting these words on a sign.

I am... wearing a white skirt and a chambray shirt. I'm rocking the light colors because, people, I am tanned. Maybe not by normal human standards, but on my near-vampire scale I'm solidly in "bronze goddess."

I am... obsessed with these French tips. Best things ever. I started wearing acrylics a few months ago when I, stressed after a long day with the triplets that was one in a string of long days with the triplets, absentmindedly chewed all my nails down to the quick. :( These are the most natural I've used, easiest to apply, last forever, and don't leave my natural nails looking sad.

Monday, June 16, 2014

So I'm Twenty-Seven Now...

... and honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this. :/

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gone South

On Thursday, after much anticipation, it was finally time for our spring roadtrip down to Alabama! Originally I had to teach Thursday evening, so we were going to drive several hours, crash on the couch of a friend of mine, and then arrive in Alabama mid-afternoon Friday, but at the last minute I was able to find a substitute, so we decided to drive straight through.

Roadtripping with Crisy and Mags is always a blast!

We pulled up to Reb and Joe's new house around 3:30 and crashed on couches and the floor.

It was an awesome weekend, spending time together...

BFFs for at least fifteen years!
Seeing my "Alabama family"...

...And dropping in to visit the Doctor in his TARDIS.


I didn't mention that?! ;)

Cris, Me, Reb, and Mags
Running away with the Doctor

"Wait for me!"
"Hurry up!"

I don't know where she finds these things, but somehow Reb found a Tardis open for display over in Tennessee (the Tennessee Tardis, properly), so Saturday morning we bid Joe adieu and drove out to see it.
As soon as we pulled up, the owner and builder pulled up (just happened to be getting tools from his nearby workshop) and stayed for a couple of minutes to chat and take a great photo for us. Thanks, Keith!

It was a great time. And I am now one of the very few people who can say, completely truthfully, that I left my sunglasses in the Tardis the last time I was there. (Totally worth the $4 I paid for them lol.)

Sunday evening we drove back, and pulled into Cris's driveway in Maryland around 9:30 AM. While I was pretty useless yesterday, I'm feeling much better after a long night's sleep last night, albeit a little bit overwhelmed by everything I need to get done in order to leave - again - tomorrow morning.

(Don't get me wrong: I am very excited about leaving tomorrow. Just not excited about laundry and chores.)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014

This list officially marks two years of bucket lists. (You can read the story of how I started here.)

1. Buy new sunglasses
2. Eat ice cream
3. Get a new haircut (I'm pretty sure this is the year I'm going short!)
4. Buy a new CD
5. Take a great picture
6. Send unusual mail
7. Go to the movies (preferably for a midnight premier, but I'm not picky!)
8. Read a new book
9. Write something
10. Perform a random act of kindness
11. Get a henna or sun tattoo
12. Take a nap outdoors
13. Write a thank-you note
14. Blow bubbles
15. Take a road trip
16. Put my toes in the sand
17. Spend the day in D.C.
18. Explore someplace new
19. Throw a party
20. Drive with the windows down
21. Try a new drink
22. Save money
23. Start a thankfulness journal
24. Go to Shore Leave
25. Stargaze