Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Errands and Galley Appliances!

It's Errand Day! PO box checked, gas tank filled, various and sundry items taken to storage, grocery store raided for our supply of instant mashed potatoes and a couple other necessities, trash from the car & the boat tossed, and now I'm debating whether or not to prep chicken salad for lunch tomorrow so it's nice and cold.  It's probably going to happen.  

Updates!  Strictly Sail Boat Convention was this weekend and all the yacht clubs were out promoting.  Our friend Anita is a member of Encinal Yacht Club and she invited us to take a tour of it Sunday morning when we ran into her and so we went to take a look.  It's right up the street from our gate and it's amazing!  It's got a pool, sauna, beautiful bar and dinning room, event rooms, monthly racing and cruising events that the members help organize, and unlike most of the yacht clubs around here, we don't have to spend a certain amount of money there over our monthly dues at the bar or for the brunches and dinners, so that's cool.  And in honor of Strictly Sail, they're waiving the usual initiation fee if we signed up this weekend.  So we did!  They're meeting Thursday to discuss all the new applicants so we should know and be official by Friday.  We stayed for the pasta dinner as Anita's guests, which is so fun if you've never been to one.  They have a salad bar station and then the pasta station, where you pick everything you want and hand it to the chef who cooks it up and you choose what sauce and pasta you want it with.  One of Kris's coworkers is actually a member too so it was good to meet him and it's nice to know that we know someone in the group!  It was so much fun and we met a few more of our neighbors, and we think it's going to be awesome to really be a part of the sailing community up here and to get to help out with the activities.  You can even reserve the club to have your own private parties, so we may have to have to take advantage of that!  Also, on our last minute trip to Strictly Sail, we got sailing gloves, ordered a life jacket for Chloe, and drooled over all the pretty 35 and 50 foot shiny boats for sale.  

We also figured out that our galley stove/oven actually works!  We asked a neighbor about it since he has the same style stove he told us that his is in the same condition as ours was and to try it out!  We went and got the fuel we needed to fill the canisters and tried it out.  And we made quesadillas for dinner!  I put the electric burner away yesterday and last night we tried both burners at the same time last night and it's so nice to be able to cook two things at the same time!  We have yet to try out the oven but we'll have to figure out something to make for our first use.  It's not huge, but I think I could fit in a 9x11 pan and that's more than we need.  We now need to repair the stove-side slide on table leaf as a prep station.  I may try re-configuing the outlets because everything's plugged into the power bar that hangs over the sink, which is serving as our liquor cabinet since we hadn't needed to USE the sink.  Without the support-brace underneath it folded out, you slide it on and it literally just falls right off, which it's not supposed to do.  Another project for the list!  But we did figure out that our bilge pump was only clogged and not actually broken, so we took the replacement kit that we bought back to West Marine.  We shifted a bunch of DVD's to a case and I took all the plastic ones to the storage space today, along with the clothes we traded out for the warm weather ones I grabbed the other day.  We picked everything up off the floor, swept, mopped, shook out the floor rugs,  figured out the trick to flushing the toilet when there's no back pressure...and more!  All in all a productive weekend that we hadn't planned on having and it was awesome!  Functioning on the boat day to day is really coming together and I'm so happy.  Every time we re-organize and put supplies we're just going to make it better and better and once we get into our list of projects our boat is going to be stylie.  
What are you looking to accomplish that's going to make your daily life better?
Happy Project Listing!

Allie H.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Live-Aboard Life...and Updates!

We are settled in to the Bay Area!  We paid our LAST rent check to Miami last month and just got the news that we would be getting back most of our deposit, which was surprising because the management company sent us the checklist saying we'd be charged like, $300 for pet cleaning, etc.  And they're only keeping about $85 bucks.  So we're stoked.  We're thrilled not to be paying money for an apartment we're not using anymore and we're stoked that we can catch up on a few things around here, start a couple projects on the boat, and not have $2K a month just going out the window!  It's awesome.  And it's time for an update!  

Kris is digging in at his new job, working with two new hires and settling in with his coworkers, been given a few projects and next week he starts being on-call to monitor the systems after hours from home should any alerts find him.  He's gotten some updates from friends of ours in Lugano who have moved on to better positions and we're so happy to hear some news from there from time to time.  My laptop crashed and had to be rebooted with Ubuntu and hopefully that's the last of that problem.  Kris put not the most current but the more stable version as he's been having issues with the most current version he updated his personal laptop with so we're trying to make sure mine doesn't have the same issues as well, which is nice. :)  He also downgraded himself to a cane after about 7 months on crutches and having to travel with them when he went back for work training in WI for a couple weeks.  His leg has been doing really well even though he's turned into more of a human barometer than me and my knees when a low-pressure front comes through, but that's to be expected.  Otherwise, he's walking pretty well.  We'll eventually go get another set of x-rays to get the official word but considering how many months of his life he's spent on crutches he's got a pretty good idea of when he can start using it more.  We're planning to find a pool so we can both get back to swimming and getting back in shape.

As for me, after seeing a few quotes I've liked lately, and looking around inside the salon of our boat, I've decided that life is terribly uncomplicated when you live on a boat.  The interior/exterior home repairs take the same amount of time, money, and planning.  You have just enough room for the basics, and the basics are all you need, really, and we're doing pretty good getting by with them, for the most part.  I do admit to missing my crock pot but since our fridge isn't big enough to hold all the leftovers that come from cooking in a crock pot, and not to mention I have no clue where I'd store it when not using it, or the amount of power it would suck up, the problem sorted itself out.  Not to worry, I'm still pinning all sorts of delicious sounding crock pot recipes to my Pinterest page for when we eventually do get around to getting a small apartment and cooking for the holidays.  Try as I might, I cannot imagine a turkey stuffed into our little galley oven!  I went to the storage space yesterday to retrieve a handful of things, shorts, bathing suits (as it's getting particularly gorgeous in Alameda) and, more specifically, our big saucepan.  I found it and so I threw out the cheap frying pan we bought when we first landed in Miami in the trash.  It was one of those sets that work in a pinch but that tend to scorch and warp after a long period of use and it served us well, but was too small for homemade spaghetti sauce and barely big enough for a big quesadilla so it needs to go.  It will also replace the current need for a bigger saucepan as we can actually cook more than one serving of pasta in it without boiling over and it will actually fit where the current pan one is residing.  Plus, I really just missed it and I can justify it's presence on the boat over the crock pot.  It's the big non-stick saucepan I bought at Safeway when I first moved out of my parent's house and I've loved it ever since, and it's been serving me well.  That's right, it moved from Monterey to Switzerland to Miami and back home to California.  It's a well-traveled pan.  I don't know too many people who can say that their kitchen utensils have made two ocean crossings.  I'm looking forward to having it back in my arsenal of cooking weapons as I figured out long ago that I can make a whole entree in it, one pot style, depending on the ingredients, and even rice, if I pay attention, so I love it.  

We went to Costco a couple weeks bag and stocked up with our usual snack foods and then soups, pasta sauces, tortillas, Mac and Cheese, canned chicken.  I made the decision a few weeks ago to just go ahead and turn on our fridge, so we've got that handy place for our butter and milk for Mac, cheese for tortillas, refrigeration for when I make chicken salad (honestly, what better way is there of covering up that canned chicken taste than smothering it with mayo and spices?), and the promise of putting a few more fresh veggies back into our meals.  We've been eating WAY too much fast food while resettling in a new city and not having a full kitchen to cook with.  While I love just grabbing a pizza, my stomach has been having an issue with it and we need to cook more at home and have more food options on the boat that aren't all processed or can be be made from a box or can but healthier.  We'd initially worried that it would have too big an effect on the house batteries but after having it up and running for an hour it figured out it's power cycle and everything else we've had plugged in doesn't seem to be bothered by it so I think we're good.  Our neighbor suggested that we could just hit up the ice machine in the laundry room every couple of days and put enough ice in the fridge to keep it cold so we could not turn it on but the thought of taking everything back out to re-do the ice every couple of days honestly makes me lazy.  It's small enough that if we set the bucket of ice on the shelf, it would cut down our refrigeration room by quite a bit so it would have to just be poured into the space under the shelf...thus not wanting to take everything out and put it all back in again all the time when not rearranging for a carton of eggs.  That's all you need, right?  Eggs, quesadilla supplies (all of which, when mixed together give you the most simple of breakfast burritos) and bacon. There's always room for bacon : )  And the occasional six-pack of cider.  I'm pretty sure, to everyone in line with us at the grocery store, we look like college students when we're not re-supplying our fruits and veggies.  Eggs, shredded cheese, Ramen noodles, three bags of chips and alcohol.  Yeah.  I'd look at us funny, too. :)

Weekends when we haven't made any plans we wake up, get bagels for breakfast and sit out in the sun reading away to our hearts content.  We're currently reading the Dresden Files series.  If you've seen the show but not read the books, I'd highly recommend it!  I'm also a serious chunk into the second book of the Game of Thrones series so I'm slightly behind the new season but as Kris says, I read faster than he does.  No worries here.  We've done a couple more sailing runs, in and around the estuary but we need to repair a back-stay so that might have precedence over the next trip out.  Every few weeks we get down to Monterey and see Kirby and my folks.  When Kris was in WI I spent tons of time with my mom, got my hair re-done red and chopped it all off (which I'm happy about now that the sun is out in full force) and saw my brother and his girlfriend for dinner one night with my Dad, which was good.  At Christmas, Dad bought  us all gift certificates to the shooting range and ammo for our particular guns so we need to plan a weekend where we can all meet up and go hunt some pesky clay pigeons.  We're making boat neighbor friends, Chloe's charming everyone and their dogs around the marina and the currently the bathrooms at our gate are going to be shut down for renovation starting Monday.  They're bringing in those trailers with the showers and nicer portable bathrooms and the main gate bathroom will still be open, as they're rotating their renovation schedule, but it's going to make parking fun.  And this just in!  Our friend Carla from Miami is visiting San Fran next month and we look forward to spending some time with her.  Wish we could get back to Miami for a visit but it won't be any time soon, for sure, and so it'll be nice to see her.  And our friend Bethany, from Lugano, is back home and about a half an hour away from us and it's ridiculous that we haven't seen her yet, but we're making plans.  She grew up in the same town as my parents and actually vaguely knows my cousins, as my aunt and uncle are still there, which was a fun thing to learn when we met her halfway around the world in SW.  And the annual Oakland Boat expo and seminars are kicking  off here pretty quickly.  This was were we did the Offshore Sailing seminar a couple years ago and I was told by one our neighbors this morning that there are a handful of free seminars you can sit in on so we might have to go look those up and see what's going on.  

People to catch up with and spaghetti to cook!  (A few recipes I've found including eggs cooked in tomato sauce and served over noodles...Yum!)
What are you catching up on this month?
Happy Plannings!

Allie H.