Sunday, March 25, 2012


Every morning I fill a kettle with water and put it on the stove to heat for our morning coffee.  I used to have a little Mr. Coffee Junior, one of the four cup drip coffee makers.  I bought it in 1986 for my second year of college in the dorms.  I broke a couple glass pots along the way, but that little coffee maker provided my morning wake-up for almost 25 years.  Many years of college, moves to South Dakota, Michigan, Connecticut, Virginia, Washington, California, and Maine, with lots of stops back in Minnesota between and never so much as a hic-up in it's duties.  Not a bad track record for a cheap kitchen appliance.
Our current method of coffee making involves a Melita filter, one of those cone shaped plastic filter holders.  I started using a Melita years ago when backpacking and camping.  Now, each morning as I'm pouring water through the filter I am reminded of those mornings spent in beautiful places, many times huddled around a campground picnic table, trying to stay warm until the water is warm enough to use.  Moab, Utah; City of Rocks, Idaho; The Black Hills, South Dakota; the Wind River Range, Wyoming; wonderful memories made with good friends, a big thank you to everyone that shared those trips for being there to make those memories and share a cup of coffee.
Back to current times, once the coffee has brewed, I drink from a ceramic mug that came from the Center for Maine Contemporary Art.  The mug used to belong to my father, was given to him by my aunt, and serves as a daily reminder of family.  Sometimes the pain of loss overpowers the good memories, but either way it adds to the emotional aspect of the morning.  All this nostalgia has a way of getting my brain working in the morning, jump-starting the process that will continue with the help of the caffeine in the coffee.
This trip down memory lane is an almost daily occurrence for me, but particularly came to mind after running out of coffee this past week.  We have become somewhat picky in our coffee preferences, favoring a particular Kona blend not available in Sitka.  Luckily, a friend was on his way to Sitka on the ferry, having purchased five pounds of our favorite blend before leaving Seattle, so we only had to suffer for one day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


In one of my more normal weather-centric posts I could blather on about the snow showers we have been getting everyday in March (yes, almost two weeks straight), or the rain showers that take their place in the times it gets warm enough to stop freezing.  I could also probably come up with a post about our somewhat irregular bathing habits while living on a boat in Alaska in the winter, but I'm thinking most of you are not all that interested in our hygiene.
Instead, I will continue on with a subject I hinted at last week, and broach the subject of baby showers.  If you happen to be waiting anxiously for an invitation to our baby shower, wait no longer.  No really, stop waiting, there isn't going to be a shower.  Not that we wouldn't love to see everyone, but we are not exactly easily accessible here in Sitka, and a themed event really leaves too much to chance in terms of tackiness.  (See included photo)
And now that I have broached the subject, some thoughts on baby showers and gift giving.  Several friends have already asked about ideas for baby gifts, and we would like to stop the madness before it starts.  In case you forgot about all the posts we have done over the past year, we live on a boat and really, truly, honestly, absolutely have no room for stuff.  We have several very good sources for second-hand baby stuff (Hi Tor and Jess), and if you know anything about my mother (Hi to you too Mom) you know that she has stashed away enough stuff for a possible grandchild that we could probably outfit every kid in Sitka.  The few things we will buy ourselves will be out of the ordinary or specific to our wants and needs, like a combination car seat/cradle/baby carrier/automatic diaper changer that dispenses hundred dollar bills on demand.  I'm still trying to source that particular item as seems to be out of stock.  On the other hand, I never want to be seen as someone that would dissuade people from giving me free stuff, so Nicole and I have talked it over and come up with what will hopefully be a reasonable solution for all.
My first suggestion was to have everyone send coffee and booze, as I see a specific need for these items in my near future, but Nicole is avoiding both right now so it seemed a bit unfair to her.  My second idea was to set up a registry for all the baby things we want, but the first thing I suggested for the list was a jumper that read "recently evicted" and Nicole put a stop to the list before it went any further.  Seems I may not know the items we would need most.  On the other hand, if you think you know more about having a baby than I do (that would be most people over the age of 8) and have an idea of something you think we would really like or need, run the idea by us.  This is all new to us and anything to make our lives easier and/or better is worth hearing about.  Instead of stuff for a baby, we are hoping you can give us the gift of your time and attention.  We are trying to work out the logistics of doing a holiday trip to show off the little rugrat, Alaska to Seattle to Minnesota to Maine and then back to Sitka, figuring we could see the majority of friends and family at those three stops.  Being semi-professional vagabonds we try to avoid travel that is easy and/or sensible so this trip will probably turn into quite a production.  A planes, trains, and automobiles kind of deal, with boats, buses and horses thrown in to make it interesting.
If you are disappointed in our choices of stops for the trip because you live somewhere like Colorado (Hi Adam and Ellen) you have a couple of choices:
1. Sell your house quickly and move to one of the places we mentioned.
2. Arrange holiday travel to coincide with our plans and meet us along the way.
3. Take a trip to Sitka to visit us here.
4. Charter a jet for us and we'll alter our travel plans to visit you where ever you are.
Let us know if you think you will be able to visit with us at some point in the trip, that way we can keep you updated as planning progresses.
(And if we visit, don't forget about the coffee and booze I mentioned earlier.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Report Card

Thank you to everyone that responded to our last post with congratulations and well wishes.  It is a relief to finally be "out of the closet" with our news, the past weeks have been hard every time someone asked "What's new with you?".
Nicole felt I needed to do a bit of "how are we doing" on our blog before I get back to my normal meaningless posts.  Both Nicole and I are doing well.  Nicole is feeling good and hasn't been sick, and her doctor feels everything is normal and on-track.  Boat life continues to be boat life, and not much has really changed for us, yet.  We are already starting to look at things with a more critical eye, wondering about things like how easy it will be to get on and off the boat when Nicole's center of gravity starts shifting.  Luckily we are both good at adapting to new situations as needed so we should be able to adjust our lives to cope with any issues that crop up.  We'll keep you posted as things progress.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Big News!!!

With the gradual demise of our borrowed little green truck, we have been searching for a replacement vehicle.  Choices in Sitka are fairly new diesel pickups for around $20k or rusted out wrecks for $500.  This isn't the range of choices, it's pretty much one or the other.  As luck would have it, just about the time I was ready to spend some serious money on a totally unsuitable vehicle, one of my co-workers mentioned he had an Isuzu Rodeo that I could have if I was willing to put a little time into fixing it.  After much waiting for the paperwork for legal ownership I finally took possession this past weekend and have been fixing little issues in hopes of making it a reliable commuting machine.  So far I have hope that this will be a reasonable choice for us.  A vehicle with brakes, working heat, windshield wipers, and four wheel drive are all good things, but probably the most important is that it is a four door with a real backseat that will easily accommodate a child seat.  That should come in handy this September.