Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch…

I feel compelled to post an update about our lack of progress. When we started this blog I wanted it to tell the whole process, not just the fun part. This is one of those posts that is not all about pretty paper umbrellas in fruity drinks. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty much the opposite of that.

This is not happening in this post. Be prepared.

Lately the energy around this whole cunning plan of ours has been about as thick as Mississippi mud. I understand that’s pretty thick, as in the stick-to-your-boots, cement-heavy clumps of clay kind of thick. Just to flesh out the metaphor, I’ll bet it’s stinky with anaerobic bacteria, and it’s red and stains everything it touches forever and ever. Am I being too dramatic here?  I am about to drive myself insane. This time I’m not alone, as Mike feels much the same way. Two insane people together. It’s not pretty. We watch a lot of TV lately…Have you seen Big Bang Theory? It’s a good distraction. We laugh and laugh and laugh…

Here is a soothing tree peony.

Here is a soothing tree peony.

The short of it is that we moved Moonrise down to Olympia where she would ‘sit in front of the broker’s office’ so that passer’s by could see the boat. She’s a pretty boat, well kept, good repair, reliable engine, and all that. The only little glitch in that plan is that…wait for it… she is not actually sitting in front of the broker’s office. She’s in a regular slip, and so it’s pretty hard to see her among all the other boats. We gave a big collective sigh on that one because it just figures.

What is up with this issue with selling the boat? It isn’t as though Moonrise isn’t getting shown. She’s been shown several times. Maybe she’s being shown more in Olympia than she would be here. Who knows? Brokers can only do so much. It doesn’t matter anyway, since we gave up our Tacoma slip, which was snatched from our hot little hands practically before we could spit. Who knew our slip was so desirable? So now we have a boat that is inconveniently far from home home, still sitting in a slip surrounded by other boats, still on the market, and still unsold. The price has been lowered again. It’s more than fair. Really. I even wrote our own Yachtworld ad so that I could be sure it accurately reflected our boat.

We'll refer to this later.

We’ll refer to this later. See the bird netting? That’s to protect the koi from herons.

Between the Flying Gull debacle, which still sits on my heart like a f***ing stone, and the difficulty we’re having selling this boat, on this particular day I feel as though it’s going to be a cold day in heck before I’m going to want to buy another boat, since whatever boat we choose we’ll be stuck with until the end of eternity. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the sheer difficulty we’ve had selling what is really a very good coastal cruiser in a price range most would kill for makes me feel very strongly that we better choose oh so extremely carefully next time.  We better get that most elusive of boats: the one that can do it all. You know that boat I’m talking about; the one that doesn’t exist.

There is probably someone out there who would be glad to tell us right now that it’s ‘not about the boat’. I beg you. Don’t say it. Really. Instead, read this page for a description of the reasons we feel the need to sell our current boat before moving forward. If we decide otherwise in the future, the blog readers will know it soon enough.

Okay, enough yelling, foot stomping, spitting and general acting out.

This door to replace one that has seen better days

This door to replace one that has seen better days

Meanwhile, back at the ranch house, Mike’s work at Boeing is looking like there could be some major changes coming since he’s a developer and Boeing is trying to find ways to save money on IT. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing but it might give us an opportunity to live differently faster than we thought. Therefore, not wanting to be caught with our proverbial pants down, we are starting to get the house into shape in earnest. That means Mike has been replacing old doors and painting trim. I am working with my little gray cells, planning what to do with my 4000 gallon pond, which is a huge liability when it comes to renting the house. I’ll have to find a home for my big koi, and then we’ll probably fill it in and create a pondless waterfall. That way we can still have the stream and the sound, but no danger to small children and animals. And very little maintenance. I’m all about that lately. This project will probably take the whole summer unless I can hire part of it out. I am loathe to get started on it, frankly.

And then we have more junk to get rid of, the exterior trim needs painting, there is wood that needs repairing, more molding that needs finishing, old doors that need cleaning, the wood floor in the dining room needs refinishing, the saltillo tile needs a new finish, we should get a load of gravel for the driveway, go through the stuff in the attic, the wallpaper in Andrew’s room is peeling and his room needs updating anyhow since he’s not 7 years old anymore, oh, and both kids are coming home so that means I have to move all my stuff out of the closet in Claire’s old room and reconsider our food storage options in the kitchen, rearrange furniture again, decide how to store the things we will not be tossing out, put more stuff on Craigslist, possibly have a big sale at some point. Anyone for some Big Bang Theory? The couch beckons.

So what we’re looking at here is a summer of work projects… around the ranch house. Open invitation to anyone who complains that boats are a lot of work: want to come over? We’ve got a few hundred big jobs we could use help with.

Yeah, I thought this was an interesting photo, too. That's what it's all about just now.

Yeah, I thought this was an interesting photo, too. That’s what it’s all about just now for Mike.

8 thoughts on “Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch…

  1. Oh how I feel your pain! Your boat hasn’t sold, and our house hasn’t sold … achieving our dreams has become downright harsh! We spent our last summer fixing the house to get it on the market. This summer we had hoped to be out of our house and sailing, but … not to be just yet.

    While I envision myself griping about boat work someday while in the islands … I’ll never complain at this point. House work can be a lot bigger job! Good luck and here’s hoping we both find a buyer for our “homes”.

    • I was thinking about you the whole time I was writing that post. I can’t imagine waiting for a house to sell. At this point, we are going to try to keep our house, but you never know. Yes, won’t it be grande when we can both complain about all the boat work we have to do because that’s where we’re living? Boats are ‘a lot of work’? Bring it on! I guess the grass is always greener…

  2. Melissa,
    For a different perspective, our boat is in La Paz, Baja California Sur, and we’re preparing to leave it for the summer (hurricane season). It’s 1:30 p.m., the temperature is in the low nineties and will continue to rise for the next three hours. We’ve chosen to leave our boat in the inner harbor at Marina Costa Baja. The inner harbor provides great protection from wind and surge, but that also means there is nary a whisper of breeze as I write this. We’ve managed a few projects this morning, but now it’s too bloody hot to do much work. We look forward to heading home and being able to enjoy the garden and cooler (relatively) weather. Good luck on selling Moonrise and joining the cruising community (where the grass is greener?…sometimes!).

    • Thanks for the other perspective! I know it’s not all cool drinks with umbrellas on the other side, either. That’s why we don’t want to sell our house. We’d like a home to come back to. Don’t think I would want to be in Mexico for the summer.

  3. Hang in there. I so understand the heartbreak of Flying Gull ( I was surprisingly sad when it didn’t work, like really really sad. Over a boat. That would have belonged to someone else.) and I really think that is going to take some time to get over that one.

    There are days when I regret the boat we chose, regret choosing a boat at all and worry about selling not one, but 2 houses We will never be able to sell the boat for more than half of what we have invested in it. That’s a bit sickening. Some days I want to say screw it all and just buy an RV already.

    Then I remember that I am going to get to live on a BOAT. My neighbors will be dolphins. I will get to watch the sunrise from the hatch over my berth and the sunset from the deck and I realize, it will all be okay. It will be okay for you both too. If it were easy, everyone would do it. 😉

    • You always know exactly what to say, Cidnie. You are so right. If it were easy, everyone would do it. I will keep a good thought for easy selling of your two houses.
      We still get a lot of comments from folks who think we ‘dodged a bullet’ with Flying Gull. Probably they have a good point if one looks at boats from a purely financial perspective. But if one looked at life that way, one would never buy a boat anyhow. Or have kids. One surely would not have kids from a financial perspective. So I guess it’s all about the perspective. If I think about how much money we’ve spent on this house we live in, which most people would never have taken on, and I think about the plan to actually live on a boat, it makes Flying Gull look like a pretty cheap place to live, even if we had to replace every single system on her.
      Yes, eventually this will all work out. Somehow. It’s just one of those times that it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Still, dolphins! They are so cool. I want them as neighbors.

    • Thanks for posting that one, Michael. We will definitely be looking at pilothouses like that when Moonrise sells.

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