Uncharacteristic Weather: A Long Dry Spell

My friend Cidnie over at Our Life with Ceol Mor recently did a really smart thing: she announced to her readers that she was taking a break from posting for a certain period of time. When she announced it, my first thought was ‘what a smart idea’. Unfortunately my thoughts stopped at that moment. Had I followed those thoughts to their logical conclusion I would have realized that by announcing her planned hiatus, she would avoid the guilt over what  I call “failure to post”. When you have a blog that you love, posting things becomes a natural part of your life, so I have discovered. And in spite of the fact that most people do not comment, our stats tell us people do actually at least look at our pages, so I feel a certain illogical responsibility to that audience. What to do when there is really very little to say?

I notice that some bloggers post something every day. Frankly, I can never be that blogger. I cannot imagine a time when I would have something interesting to share every day.  I don’t need to be in people’s consciousness that much.  Most days are lived in ‘the beige’ of life: they are neither high nor low, but form the background and tie all the other days together. Time drifts by. What’s so great about that? No, I fear that posting every day at this point is just not going to be my style. So if there are long periods of time between posts, know that we are living in the beige just then and have nothing of interest to report in terms of progress. No one wants to read about how many hours I spent laying on the couch doing nothing or working out to my cardio boxing game. Here’s a brief wrap up of what we’ve accomplished toward the plan so far this year:20130212_1

We’ve bought a truck. True, we’ve added a vehicle, and, against common wisdom,  this has given us a profound sense of relief because we deperately need a truck with the property we live on. Now we can do dump runs, take furniture to Goodwill, get mulch and bark for the yard, and all the good things only trucks do. Then there is the issue of transporting things like kayaks and Puddler, our dinghy. We got this truck for only 1500$ so it didn’t set us back much.

Mike has made it his goal in life to clear the yard of unused items that, while hidden from sight, still must be dealt with should we ever dig ourselves out of here. Old wheelbarrow? Gone. Useless garden hose reel? Vamoose. Lawn vac? (yeah, I know.) Finished. Next to go are my old cement mixer (yes, I owned my own), a big pile of treated wood from Andrew’s old tree house, a lot of firewood, and a big stack of cement roofing tiles leftover from a garden edging project. You begin to see why a truck is a necessity.

I have cleaned up the work area behind the greenhouse to enable a leaner operation, offer a good place for storing garden tools all in one place (yeah, like that’s going to happen once gardening season begins), and allow Mike to build a structure for things that need cover, like the lawn mower. I am willing to share that area  because the days of my starting a hundred kinds of seeds in one season and acting like I own a nursery are over for now.

Just as people have to get boats ready to go, homeowners have to get their home ready to either sell or rent, and we’ve been doing that. Mike has created a great workshop area in the garage. There is room for it now that we’ve dumped so much stuff at Goodwill. Plus room for the car. Who knew? He’s replaced a toilet and I notice that he has bought a supply of molding to finish off a couple of areas. We have a door standing by to replace another door that is hideous. Anyone who complains that boats are a lot of work has never owned a home. Their cries fall on deaf ears around here.

Anyone notice how often I’ve typed the word ‘Mike’? That’s right. He is basically driving this train right now. I am the caboose, being pulled along in the same direction, and thankful for it. My focus is on my work and my health. It’s enough for me presently. I am back to working out, which feels great, (and many thanks to Nintendo for creating the Wii because I hate going to a gym). I am back on my diet to take off the pounds of holiday excess and fight my British genetic love of all things carbohydrate. I am infusing energy into my work by planning to teach some classes. All to the good. In my line of business, sitting back and coasting isn’t really an option if you give a crap about work quality. And I do.

Moonrise remains on the market and we have continued to do little projects that don’t warrant their own post, such as bringing home the canvas cover for the wheel and giving it a good wash, and cleaning the outside of her. Boats in the Puget Sound area look just awful in the winter. They have a tendency to grow a green algae everywhere. We can’t let that stand. Mike is refinishing the teak cockpit table, as the canvas doesn’t quite cover the end of it and it was badly weathered. We’ve had some interest in Moonrise but it is now a waiting game. I am of the mind that we need to set a date by which, if she is still ours, we decide to keep her and move on. I grow weary and discouraged over having my heart broken about other boats. Who knows? Maybe it wouldn’t be that uncomfortable sailing the Pacific on Moonrise. Who am I kidding? It would be terrible. But I would probably go anyhow.

So we exist in a slow moving wave just now, a time of introspection and waiting as we have just passed the mid-winter mark. The snowdrops are blooming, I’ve cut back the old leaves of the hellebores to unveil their blossoms. The chickens are busy keeping weeds at bay and generally running amok. Some shrubs appear to believe we’ll have an early spring around here. We’ve had a blessedly easy winter this year but we aren’t out of the woods yet. I’ll do a garden post soon, as it begins to look interesting out there. Meanwhile, we surf the wave slowly but surely.

Skippy standing guard over the winter garden.

Skippy standing guard over the winter garden.


12 thoughts on “Uncharacteristic Weather: A Long Dry Spell

  1. I have to say the whole blog guilt thing is a mystery to me. Dani gets sort of antsy when I don’t post for a long while. “The blog misses you.” Then she’ll start trying to give me ideas to write about. Finally she’ll have a fit and force me to work on the boat so that I’ll HAVE to write something. I think she must have this blog guilt thing you are talking about.

    Personally, I’ve never had it. I write when I feel like I have something worth saying, and when I don’t, I just don’t. I know that might not be the most optimal thing if you’re trying to build some readership or get blog stats or something like that. However, from the very start of our blog, I made up my mind… This blog was OUR story and the purposes it serves will be our own. (Same reason you’ll NEVER find any ads or “donate” buttons on our site.) I wanted to connect with quality people, not lots of people. And we’ve been doing it wonderfully, so I don’t worry about it. I know people will come back and read occasionally if we’re entertaining enough to warrant it even if we only post once a week or once every couple of weeks.

  2. Your comment makes me wonder if this is a female thing, related in some part to our birthing of children (not that you would feel the same way about a child, but you get my drift). A blog is a creation of sorts, and on some level I believe I must tend to it if I want it to grow and be healthy. It’s not really about attracting readers because that becomes secondary at some point, which is precisely why I do not post every day, no matter how trivial the post. It sounds as though Dani feels the same way about keeping a kind of momentum (but we enjoy reading both of you, so I think you could post just when you wanted to and it would be fine). It matters little to me whether I post or Mike posts. I have more time to post than he does. What matters is that there be some kind of activity. Of course, I agree with everything you’ve said, but still I feel something missing if I don’t post on occasion. I also feel something missing if I don’t read a post from others who blog their story. This is not said in order to induce any kind of guilt or feelings of responsibility on your part, but to make the point that there is some sort of relationship between readers and bloggers, no matter how ephemeral. I live part of my live vicariously through you and Dani, Cydnie and Mark, Steve and Lulu, and all the others because you are ahead of us in this plan. Some people live vicariously through us because we are ahead of them. So maybe it also has to do with the fact that, as you said, this is our story and without posts it begins to feel as though the story has stalled a bit. I don’t see guilt as a bad thing if it motivates action, but probably there needs to be a more precise word to describe this feeling. Without action what’s the point? I learned a long time ago to let go of guilt about things over which I have no control. But I have control over whether I sit down and write. It isn’t that I’m letting others down by not posting – their lives will go on just fine without this blog. It’s that I am letting myself down. There have been many occasions where I’ve felt like throwing in the towel because it just feels to damn hard, but no one wants to read about that, so my fantasy relationship with readers makes me take the high road and look to the future instead of wallowing in the present. It keeps me on task, and I need that kind of taskmaster during the long winter days.

    Too bad you guys don’t live closer. We could have you over for a few beers and wax philosophical about the whole thing! I like you. You’re the real deal, for sure.

  3. Yeah, we really wish we had more cruiser types around here to visit with. But c’est la vie. One day hopefully we’ll be anchored next to gads of them.

    I suppose your thoughts have given me some to think about. Maybe I’ll be more sympathetic to Dani’s cries for blog attention. Thanks!

  4. That old adage ‘quality over quantity’ is especially true of blogging, as long as you’re posting quality content the frequency takes a back seat. Besides it’s no fun if you’re feeling pressured to post.

    Keep the faith, Moonrise will sell and you will find your new boat, but that’s easier said than done, I know. Our car still hasn’t sold and I’m starting to hate the sight of it. I daydream of taking a sledge hammer to it, which would kinda defeat the purpose, but it’s therapeutic all the same. Part of me wonders if the stuff I want is not happening because I’m such a negative thinker. I should try putting a bit of positive energy out there.

    The bit about you being the caboose gave me a giggle. I think in a relationship there’s always an ‘engine’ and a ‘caboose’ but they’re not necessarily static roles. They interchange as needed. One partner tends to drive things more than the other, as they’re either more motivated or more suited to the task. The other partner is the caboose because they have other priorities, they’re either physically, mentally or emotionally tired and need a break or they’re happy to be the rear guard doing little jobs and finishing touches. When I’m the caboose I’m so thankful for my engine, especially in the uphill parts.

    Looking forward to your garden posts!

    • You apparently have an excellent understanding of the dynamics of who is in charge in what amounts to an equal partnership. And at such a tender age! Yes, I am very happy in my caboose role just now. Plenty of time to be the engine later, as I’ve been that one in the past.

  5. I um’d and ah’d about pointing this out, but I can’t let it go without saying anything and begging you to fix it. There are three grammatical errors in my comment, which I completely missed when proof reading, I have used ‘their’ three time when it should have been ‘they’re’….*head hangs in shame*

    • Consider it done! And it’s good to know I’m not the only one who gets a little bit of twisted knickers when those things happen. Don’t even get me started!

  6. I don’t sail, but I enjoy reading about your dreams and the steps you take to make them happen. Its entertaining and informative, so I am picking up a little sailing info 🙂 And the stories are well told and I can relate to them. Keep up the good work

  7. You nailed it! Announcing a break from blogging is all about avoiding guilt (yes, chick thing) and from posting tales of PTA meetings,, play group and house preparations. 🙂 It also relieves me from feeling I have to go out in the cold and damp to take photos. Its also hard to imagine life in the tropics on a boat when you are bundled up freezing your patookus off. And yes, I do freeze when the temps drop below 60. Guess I am a lizard at heart. Better weather = Better content. So I wait…

    Can’t wait until you are ready to get back at it again. Although, photos of you and your boxing game would NOT be boring.

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