The Measure of the Day

This morning I’m sitting in my window seat at home, my land-life equivalent to the cockpit on Galapagos, nursing my one and only ‘latte’ of the day. I call it a latte, but it’s really my addictive Taster’s Choice House Blend (yeah, thanks, Scotland) and nicely frothed milk. Delicious. It’s my morning ritual. I sit here, observe the early falling leaves, and check my email.


I open the email from Bookbub, a website I subscribe to that showcases really cheap books for my Kindle. Most of the time I glance through the list and am not impressed. I hit ‘delete’ and move on. Today I find three books that grab my attention and I end up buying all three. And that’s when it hits me: this is the measure of the day ahead. Getting three Kindle books for a total of 5$.  I guess if you are going to measure the success of a day in advance, this is as good a way as any. I wonder what other wonders this day will reveal?

This Kindle-stock-piling is one of the many small things I do to prepare for all those long hours of web-less forced inactivity that I’m sure must be awaiting me when we cut the dock lines late next spring.   I just know I will have hours and hours to lie around when the weather is too hot to do anything else; protecting my delicate skin from the sun’s bitter rays, Kindle in hand and absorbed in stories. It’s a good dream, and I’m holding fast to it and as I buy-with-one-click. Amazon, you make it so easy.  At this point, I can’t even find all the books I’ve bought because I haven’t yet discovered the secret to keeping them organized. It’s the story of my life.

More fall bloomers. Japanese Wind Flowers

I feel like a squirrel, gathering nuts and storing them away in hidden places, preparing for the lean times. I’ve canned gallons of figs and huckleberries from the yard, hoarding them away under the settee. We’ll never buy jam again. I look at the crab apple tree and begin planning another round of canning. Maybe it’s my mother’s and grandmother’s depression era heritage that keeps me from wanting to see good fruit go to waste.

I’m hunting and gathering dvds we’d like to watch, saving them for that rainy day at an anchorage somewhere. End of the season deals on hot weather clothing find their way into my shopping cart and then into the pillow cover storage on the boat. During the cold and wet winter, I’ll find myself fingering the cloth like prayer beads, counting the days to the warmth and sun.

Even as fall has not actually begun, our late spring departure bears down on us, gathering speed.  It’s hard to believe there is less than a year to go in this plan.  There are countless things to accomplish before then. The big ones are scheduled in our heads for a haul out next year. That leak under the mizzen mast. That old mainsail. All the deck systems. The rigging inspection. All that and more. It will stretch us to prioritize these things into what actually needs to be done before we go, and what can wait until another day, another place.

I am working on a few small but important things such as the medical kit. I’ve made great progress ordering things from Amazon, such as these Quik Clot sponges for stopping bleeding, and this Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing compression bandage, and even this skin staple kit. It’s amazing how much you can spend on things you hope never to actually use. I purchased first aid for the mind in an entire season of Big Bang Theory, waiting for a nice binge watch session in the Rumpus Room on board.P1100422

With the aft cabin creative endeavor complete and Mike having almost completed the install of the new hydraulic steering lines, our next big interior project is going to be the galley and the water system on board. My little grey cells are working overtime experimenting with materials, doing research, coming up with a cunning plan to increase accessible storage, get rid of the old countertops, and replace the tired sink before the drain snaps off and falls into the cabinet below. Of course this is all while saving money and coming up with new Cheap Boat Tricks. I have ideas, plans forming in my brain. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, here are the three books you may want to consider for your own Kindle. Hurry before the prices go back up:

Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories by Ben Fountain $1.99

Coop by Michael Perry $1.99

Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom From Washington, D.C.  by Mary Kay Ricks $.99



11 thoughts on “The Measure of the Day

  1. Interested to hear your musings on your countertops…I’m not recalling what the problem is there?

    Oh, and I do the same thing, buy digital books when they’re cheap and hoard them to read on my tablet when I’m out of books or in the car (not driving) 🙂

    • The countertops are just old and worn out. We have to replace the sink anyhow, and it’s a good opportunity to do a lot of other things. Glad I’m not the only book hoarder!

  2. Have you seen Calibre – it’s a free e-book management program that you load on your computer. You might find it a handy way to organize all your books. Stocking up on e-books is one of my favorite pastimes. Sadly, I never seem to have a latte handy when I’m doing it 🙁

    • I have not seen that and will check it out right now! If you had one of my handy milk foamers, made by Secura, and sold on Amazon, you, too, could enjoy a delicious ‘latte’ like beverage from the comfort of your boat.

  3. I read your post about books. I am so very, very fortunate that we have a wonderful library system here in the Detroit area. It’s called the Suburban Co-op. There is one in the county where I live and another in my daughter’s county. Each encompasses libraries from 12-15 cities. They inter library loan paper books; but also have a wonderful digital system. Free kindle books all the time. The loan period is generally two weeks. I can check out books anywhere in the world as long as I can access wifi. Perhaps you area has something similar?

    Hubby and I were just talking about this winter’s boat list. We come out of the water on October 14. Launch is usually mid May. Lots of time to get projects done. My tasks so far are a helm cover for the dinghy, sunbella panels to Velcro to the isinglass on the back deck, (sun relief), a new flag standard and order a flag, research and order the vinyl name for the transom, (we’ve had the boat a year and she is still nameless), sew table covers for the bridge and salon to prevent scratches and sun damage, sew/fix our sun pads so they fit and sew new towel covers for our deck chairs so we don’t stick to them.

    I know his list is a lot longer than mine. We are out of town on our boat this weekend and we were just sitting in the cockpit enjoying a gorgeous morning talking about our lists. We have one going on paper that seems to grow every weekend. Lol.

    I wish you luck with your list! Marie

    • Thanks, Marie! you do have a long list. I’m afraid to notice how long ours is. I do know I’ll be spending this holiday weekend doing some panels for the cockpit to keep rain out this winter. I’d rather be out on the water, but we still have no steering.
      We do have a library here and I am able to get books for the kindle, but it’s usually after a bit of a wait as there are more people using than there are resources, probably due to how we fund our libraries. Still, it’s good while I have wifi to download. We don’t usually spend much time around wifi when we are out on the boat, so I’m looking at ways to not depend on that. Enjoy being out on your boat this weekend! Sounds lovely.

  4. Yup, I bought “Escape on the Pearl” too, even though I usually just go for the free ones. I figure what the heck, if I don’t like it, delete it, but just in case I get desperate, I will read anything. We were on a kayaking trip once, and got weathered out on an island, (Bill, my daughter, and I), traded books around and around. It was funny to see Bill reading the books my 16yr old daughter brought. Brings a smile to my face even now. That was before e-readers, so space was limited.

    I want new countertops too, but ours are fairly new, and not worn out, so no go on that one. I want a new hard dodger, and bimini too, and that one seems more in reach. Our current soft ones, are very worn out, and patched.

    I messed up a year ago, and gave away a large rubbermaid tub full of DVDs. I really regret that one. I should have hoarded the ones I would watch over again, and donated the rest to the Wrangell Library. Rats. BTW, I love Big Bang also!

    • Part of me still likes the feel of a good paper book in my hand. But the Kindle is so much more convenient on a boat, so there it is. I remember going on cruises on Moonrise, before we had such a thing a as a Kindle, and bringing a big bag of books down to the boat just so I would have enough choices. Mike would bring 1 book. I would bring 20. Now he cannot count my books 🙂 Sorry you gave those DVDs away. I almost did. But then realized that what took up the space was the plastic containers. Once I got over that hurdle, getting a couple hundred DVDs on board was no problem. I know a lot of people put theirs on an external drive. But I didn’t bother with that.

      • We got to copy a bunch of movies from a neighbor boat in Anacortes, to our hard drive. That was great except they are all beat em up, shoot em up, blow em up kind of movies. I can watch one once in a while, but a steady diet, no thanks.

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