OK, I know it’s been a long time between posts this summer but we’ve been kept pretty busy and blogging just never seemed to make it’s way to the top of the to-do list. But tomorrow we start wending our way slowly back down to La Paz so I guess it’s time to get back to it. So, what the heck were we doing that kept us so busy anyway?
Scott and Cody are big fans of buying various TV series on DVD. Every time we stay at their place, I spend a lot of time ripping these DVDs to mini hard-drives so we can be entertained on the boat. This time I decided that I really needed to do a little payback so I bought several older series that I thought they would enjoy as much as we would: “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, “thirtysomething”, “Party Of Five”, “X-Files”, and “Supernatural”. I ripped copies for us and we’re leaving the DVDs with them. I also added to some of our collections by buying some shows that they don’t watch like “Sopranos”, “Sons of Anarchy” and “Breaking Bad”. Between ripping shows from Cody and Scott’s collection as well as bringing all of our own collections up to date, I managed to fill over 3 TB of disk space. This took a long time and our Macbook was busy all day, every day ripping shows.
Visiting and fawning over our grandson
Neil Julian Yoder was born on August 13 and we have taken every possible opportunity to see him since. Our son and his wife live in Eugene which is a little over an hour away so we’ve visited several times though certainly not daily or even weekly. We get to see him again tomorrow for the last time until we return around Christmastime.
The biggie was the celebration of my parents’ 65th wedding anniversary in August. We all met at a rental house on the coast and basically feasted and visited for 3 days. Gave me an opportunity to get a 4-generation photo of the Yoder boys.
Besides the anniversary weekend, we’ve had several other smaller get-togethers with various components of Scott’s family up here at Scott & Cody’s house.
Working on the Dolphin
As a result of the shakedown cruise, we identified several things we wanted to do to the Dolphin besides the things we’d already planned. One of the most important items was to make some sort of constraints in the cabinets. After driving a little way, the first person to open one of the overhead cabinets was always greeted by an avalanche of spices and sauces raining down on their heads. This could not be allowed to go on. After all, we’re boat people and we like our cargo secure, right? We took a trip up to Tigard to visit The Container Store. Their stuff was a skosh spendy but they certainly had a wide array of shapes and sizes of container. We managed to get what we needed to corral the smaller stuff, organize the large “closet” and generally keep things from falling out. The places that didn’t lend themselves to little organizer trays or that just needed a little more help got the Yoder treatment. I cut and fit lots of little wood and plexiglass fronts to keep things inside the cabinets while still allowing them to be removed.
Also installed solar panels on the roof, replaced the broken vent lid over the forward hatch, installed a deadbolt on the access door, modified the screen door to accept the new deadbolt, installed a GPS, and generally got things organized.
Build new stuff for the boat
The two bookshelves that I built and installed on Siempre Sabado way back when have proven to be useful and frustrating all at the same time. Useful because they give us much needed storage space. Frustrating because the same things that keep the books secure make it difficult to put anything on the shelf or to remove something from it. Also, the fact that I didn’t account for the inward slope of the cabinsides, thus making the shelves lean slightly down has always bugged me. So I built 2 new and improved models. Hopefully they’ll work out right. Built 2 new lids for the fridge as the old ones are beginning to show their age. We also have what we call our “liquor cabinet”. It’s actually just a wooden box with a plexiglass front that I built back in Mazatlán. It works fine but it is a little crude looking since I only had hand tools and scraps to build it with. So, I built a new, prettier one. Put the last coat of varnish on everything this morning.
Buying boat stuff
The primary goal of any boat bum’s visit home is the acquisition of more stuff for the boat. This time, that stuff mostly consisted of standing rigging hardware and wire. We also bought parts to make a hookah for bottom cleaning. Not hauling all that down this time, though, as we don’t clean our own bottom when we’re in a marina. The water is too funky for us and there are lots of folks around who are more than happy to have the job and charge very reasonable prices. And, since we’e going to be in a marina until next spring, we won’t need the hookah until then. We’ll be back in the States between now and then and will bring it down next time. The Dolphin’s getting plenty loaded up already. Don’t want to overload it or call too much attention to ourselves as we cross the border.
The “Biggie”, the remodel
Way back when, I built a deck on the back of our house, along one of the long sides and around the end outside the master bedroom. Now that it’s Cody & Scott’s house, they have other ideas. One of the things that this house has always been short on is closet space. Not a biggie for Lulu and I as all we needed was space for some shirts to hang up. Definitely didn’t need much in the way of full-length hang-up space. Cody and Scott are different. Scott’s job requires him to wear ties and slacks and such. Plus, they go to church (which we never did) so they have Sunday dress-up clothes. Plus, they just have probably 4 times as many clothes as we had, at least. So, they had this idea to wall off part of the deck and make a walk-in closet. And then, as we’re talking about the project, they said that they’d also like to eventually close in the back part of the deck to make a family room. Cody and Scott asked us if we’d take on the closet as our summer project because they wanted to get their clothes out of what used to be the little bedroom so it could be turned into a nursery. We said, “certainly”. However, the more I thought about it and the more we talked, the more sense it made to go ahead and build the closet but to also frame in the “family room” since one wall of the closet was also one wall of the family room. The project went somewhat slower than it had to because Scott wanted to be involved rather than just having us build it. And, both he and Cody work stupidly long hours so much of the work that they could do was confined to weekends.
However, Scott brought materials home every evening I’d spend the next day assembling them. Eventually we got the family room enclosed (albeit only with Tyveck) and Lulu just finished the last step in the closet today (carpeting).
So, I started by tearing down the rails and benches on the deck, rendering it a blank canvas:
The new family room is enclosed on both ends and is only lacking the T-111 siding and soffits on the long side to be fully weather-tight. Lulu finished all the sheetrock in the closet as well as texturing and painting it. This morning she installed the carpet. It’s still lacking a few niceties like window trim and baseboards but that didn’t stop Cody from moving in. So, mission accomplished.
One thing I really liked about this project was that all I had to do was build. Someone else (Scott) had to shop for, transport and pay for the materials. Also, this project reaffirmed one of the things I like best about living on a boat: NO SHEETROCK!
Spent lots of time cooking while we were at Cody & Scott’s. They get home from work so late that we ended up doing basically all the cooking. Which suits us just fine. Made pot roast and stew and enchiladas and hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes and numerous pasta dishes and on and on. Sadly, I didn’t take one single food picture while we were here so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
So that’s what we did on our summer vacation (so far). Tomorrow evening we’ll head down to Eugene to visit our kids and our grandson as well as my folks and my sister one last time before we head further south. We’re taking our time heading down the coast, vowing to drive no more than 200 miles a day and often much less. To the extent that I can get wifi along the way, I’ll post updates. Should be an interesting trip.
It’s been fun but we are ready to be back in Mexico.