Monday, February 28, 2011

Sorting and Purging

The word for this week is "declutter", which my spellcheck informs me is not a word, and needs a hyphen or a space.  Well, we need a space too, and hence operation de-clutter.  I won't go into the boring details of emptying out storage spaces, but will start a mini-feature for this week called "What's on the free shelf".  The laundry room at the marina has a shelf behind the washers that people have traditionally used to deposit unwanted items in hopes that other will take and use them.  These items range from old Beta movies (really?) to new clothes with tags still attached.  We have a stack of things to add to the shelf, and rather than doing it all at once I will make the walk down each morning to deposit a couple of our items, check to see what others have left, and see if any of our items from the previous day are still there.
I wanted to start off slow, being Monday and all, so today I brought down several spare foot-pump hoses for Zodiac type inflatable boats, an unused garment bag, an electrical extension cord, a yarn-art cat, and a miniature inflatable boat.  I was greeted at the laundry room door by little girl, probably about 2, and the inflatable boat never even made it to the shelf.  The shelf was empty when I arrived, so our items won't be competing against any antique tea sets or stereo equipment, at least not yet.  Tomorrow I'll check in to see what is new or left over from today, and drop off a tool kit in a plastic case that should be a nice find for someone.  The remainder of the weeks' cast-offs promise to get bigger and better, so stay tuned.

Edit:  My daily posts about our offerings to the free shelf were boring to me, so I can't imagine anyone reading this (Is anyone reading this?) was interested either, so I got rid of the posts.  I dumped a bunch of stuff on the shelf and will continue Friday and Saturday, and hopefully it all finds good homes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Little W(h)ining

For several years now Nicole and I have been heading over to central Washington each President's Day weekend for wine tasting.  The area just past Yakima has a group of wineries called Rattlesnake Hills, and they host a Wine and Chocolate event each year at this time.  This year we were joined by fellow sailors Jason and Christy, and also met up with Heather, Jodi, and Danny, friends from Nicole's work.  In recent years Rattlesnake Hills has been adding wineries to their group, and this year they were up to 18 wineries, which presents a bit of a challenge to visit all of them during the event weekend.  Luckily it's a three day event so we could spread out the fun a bit.  We knew Christy would be up to the task, but Jason mentioned something about not really liking wine so I was a bit worried, but he was either understating his wine drinking prowess or he warmed up quickly.

Nicole and I were trying hard to show restraint in purchasing this year.  With our sailing trip departure just over a month away, we have been concerned that we already have quite a bit of wine on the boat and are only allowed a couple bottles each going into Canada.  We agreed that this would be a tasting weekend only with no buying, and that decision lasted all the way to the second winery we visited.  Having done this trip in the past with just the two of us, we have been known to fill the trunk of the car with cases of wine, keep our bags and toiletries in the back seat, and go on our merry way.  This year with four people and their associated luggage, we were thankfully limited in the amount of wine we could bring back.  I did, however, notice an unspoken agreement between the two couples that the luggage was arranged around the passengers inside the car to provide more space in the trunk for wine.  In the end we all had a great time and tasted some great wines.  For those that like statistics and/or gory details:

3 days of wine tasting
18 wineries visited
122 wines sampled (approximate number, for obvious reasons)
47 bottles of wine purchased (20 by us, 27 for Jason and Christy)
1 wine glass broken
4 livers slowly recovering

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pre-Departure Shuffle

I believe this could be referred to as the pre-departure shuffle, where large boxes of stuff are moved off the berth so we can sleep, in the morning they are moved from the settee so we can drink coffee, in the afternoon they are moved from the other settee to the berth so we can get something out of a locker, then it's time for bed, with the boxes back on the berth....About day five of this someone smarter than me (Nicole) will ask what exactly is in these boxes, at which point unpacking and organizational mayhem ensues....
It could be worse, we could also be dealing with the boxes of things currently stored in our vehicles, or the stuff in the storage unit, or the stuff at friends houses.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Say hello to my little friends

It's been cold but sunny the past few days, and the critters in the neighborhood are taking advantage of the lack of rain.  We don't see the seals hauled out in the marina too often, but the otters are regular visitors.