Wishing for warmer weather…

I have been given snow days, early dismissals and delays this year and, yes, teachers love them as much as students. However, with this cold weather comes problems when working on a boat. Matt is now in the stage where he needs things to set and harden, not to mention he needs to be able to use his hands and that is increasingly difficult in below freezing temperatures. That puts boat work on a side burner.

Inside a nice warm house, I have started to work on skills that will come in handy once the boat is nearly complete. I am learning to use a sewing machine and gaining confidence with every project. I finished a t-shirt quilt, am making an apron and just got volunteered to make curtains for our classroom.  

This skill will help me when it comes time to make the sheets for the V-Berth and secondary cabin beds and make the covers for our sails. It will also help when we upgrade to a stronger machine for sail patching and repair.

I like this new challenge and I feel like 2018 is going to be a year of challenges. Even before the boat is complete, we have had to learn to juggle work time, boat time, and together time. Now, included, is more time spent with my family, which has increased now that we are living back at my parents house. I see my sister, niece and nephews more and we eat dinner and hang out with my parents almost every evening. I love routine and I know that falling into one is good and I also know that it will be hard for me to change again when the boat is ready for water. Hopefully, time spent on the boat after its completion will teach me to be able to adapt to change like wind in my sails. …or maybe I will just roll with it a little better. Just as long as I can stay afloat, I think I will be alright.

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The Holidays

The holidays were bittersweet for me because I miss my house. I missed giving candy to MY trick or treaters, I missed putting up MY fall decorations around the house, I missed decorating MY tree and house for Christmas.

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My Vampire Princess

We found ways to combat my holiday blues. I took my niece to my best friend’s house so we could trick or treat in the city with her family.
I was able to decorate the basement of my parents house with some of my fall nick-knacks. AND I had my mom to help me with Christmas. Mom and I helped each other stay tinsel through the holidays. We decorated together, I was able to display many of my Christmas decorations throughout the house. We decorated the tree together, she even almost knocked the tree over onto me at one point in the lighting process. A memory I will not let her soon forget!
Matt and I were able to think of the boat and made our design for the Errant. We had crew shirts made and gave them to my brother and sister-in-law (our only official crew) for Christmas. My sister said we looked very “Below Deck” in our attire, so I guess we did it right.

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Matt and Me in our crew shirts notice the tree that almost crushed me in the background
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Dad watching Matt’s drone from the window

I also got Matt at drone for Christmas. It had been on our wish list for quite some time and I figure he should get a chance to practice over dry land, before we can get those beautiful panoramas we see on the “SV Delos”series.

We even decided to stay in for New Years Eve and eat snacks and
watch “Twilight Zone” cozy together.

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Our New Year’s Eve Picture

A Blessing from my Father…

Not only did my parents embrace us moving in with them AND let us have the boat here and all of the supplies that is used for restoring the boat. My Dad told Matt to go ahead and buy a storage shed and build it on the property that way we don’t have to spend money renting a unit.  

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Kyle, Me, Matt Dupont Circle

 

Matt and his BFF, Kyle, spent an entire day-ish building a storage shed in my parents backyard. The shed is amazing, it even has a loft. We were actually able to fit all of our belongings into the shed and our bedroom.

 

 

 

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Matt and the finished shed

It took a while for things to settle and for us not to overflow into the house but I think we are now in a good place. My mom has been so patient with the clutter. Anyone who knows my mom knows she likes a clean and orderly household.

 

So as not to think that we are only a burden on my parents, Matt and I also have been able to help out around the house. When my father needs help mowing the lawn, tending the vineyard, any manual labor or tech/computer help, Matt is his “go-to” man. I help run errands for my mother and help cook and help my dad outside, too.  Again, it took some time, but I think we are finally hitting a rhythm and routine in living all together.

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My Dad pulled up a chair to watch the boat delivery

 

The Decision to Move: Feeling Adrift

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OUR HOME 2015 

So, Matt and I decided that we would find renters and when we did we would move to my parents house. We found renters. Moving sucks. The home we made for ourselves, that I worked hard to make a home after our marriage in 2015, now had to be disassembled and put in boxes.

Packing is not fun, finding a place for all of your possessions is less fun and the fact that your world is now reduced to boxes is an emotional experience. I am not going to lie, I was not easy to deal with during this process. I tried hard, but to see our home disassembled was harder than I thought it would be. Then when I tried to find a silver lining like we don’t have as many possessions as I thought, and we live one of those minimal-ish type lifestyles we would run out of storage space or someone would mention another box and shatter my positive thinking.

What happens when you decide to buy a fixer upper?

Matt has been updating you on the nitty-gritty of boat reconstruction. Now, I would like to take the opportunity to update you on the lifestyle choices that are made when you decide to renovate a boat. We made a joint decision after many Saturday visits for us and many late nights for Matt, that we would rent out our house and move to my parents. My parents have the room and love the company. In addition, we just have to walk outside and there is the boat. The rent from our house will be enough to cover the mortgage and to make a little income to put toward the renovations or maybe even tuck away into savings. I plan to fill you in on this process and give MY account of the real life fun AND stress that resulted directly and sometimes indirectly from buying the Errant.

Demo Day

Our boat was finally at its temporary home in Pleasant Valley, MD. What now?

That’s where it got real.

Matt and I jumped on to the boat and started with the first thing we could think of and that was cleaning the 20 years of grime off of the boat. We started to see the white underneath. The cleaning was so satisfactory to me for my first mission on the boat.  One, I know how to clean and, two, I can measure progress when cleaning. I really feel as my loving husband gifted me that task to calm some of the “My Goodness  We Have A 40 Foot Boat” anxiety I was experiencing.

Cleaning the grime
Years of dirt and grime ready to be scrubbed

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Next up, was HGTV’s Chip Wade’s favorite day,  “Demo Day!”. It was time to start gutting the interior of the boat. More and more started to pile up on the ground outside. It was unbelievable. Each day I stopped by Matt had pulled more out of that boat.

Here are pictures of us loading it up for the dump. Thanks to our friend, Kyle, for the trailer loan. We got it loaded in one trip thank goodness. (At the present time the pile of trash has grown back.)

Trash for the trailer
Trash for the trailer
Ready for the dump

Again, I could see the progress. It was exciting to see Matt going into this project with so much gusto and seeing that it was moving forward.

Next thing we tackled was to take every last fitting off the deck.  This is a two person job because someone has to hold the wrench above deck while someone uses another wrench below deck to unscrew it (otherwise it would just spin in place.) This included a 200lb crane the previous owner had installed on the foredeck. (He said it was to be used for hauling treasures he found off the seabed.) This required a lot of cutting with the grinder.

Any fitting that was rusted or we couldn’t unbolt was cut with a grinder. I think Matt enjoyed using that.

Then we took off the toe rails by undoing the bolts below deck, and the ones that were stuck…cut off with a grinder. Again, Matt got to use the grinder.

Removing the fittings
Removing the fittings

The deck was then full of holes, so,  we erected tarps to cover the whole boat. (And I still fight these infernal tarps every month as they break off or rub holes in themselves. Every time I have to fix a tarp I dream of having a storage shed *barn* that would hold the boat.)