the adventures of a girl, her dog, and two cats.

Friday, November 14, 2014

be at peace

Three days after my 14-miler I ramped up to 16. Just shy of a week later I was planning to run 18 but the weather was gorgeous and somehow my legs talked me into just going ahead and knocking out 20. This photo is right after I finished. It was a long, grueling run, and I was pretty damn sore for two days afterwards, but very glad I got it done. This weekend I'll run shorter and then hit another 20 next weekend. The 50K may not be a personal record time as hoped, but I will be able to get through it 5 weeks from now. Then my focus will go back to a solid 30 miles per week and losing weight. I gained back 3 pounds on my trip but another 5 since my return. It's just enough that I can't fit my smaller, sexier clothes and I feel squishy instead of hot. My goal at the end of last year was to lose 25 pounds. I lost 18 but gained back 8 so the setback is very frustrating and it's always that last 10-15 that are the hardest to lose and the easiest to gain back.

I've been trying to get the boat organized and cleaned up. I'm still a long way from the finish line, though not sure that's one I will ever really cross. But living in a jumbled hoarder-esque disaster zone wears on me and scares off any guys who see my boat (not always a bad thing, I guess). But a few days ago I did actually locate a countertop underneath all the dishes, condiments, and liquor bottles in the galley.  The fridge is back on the fritz, either running like crazy and freezing everything or off. I'm running it a few hours and then turning it off the rest of the day to try to avoid losing any more delicate veggies.
Since I'm carless, I've repurposed a couple of nets that are meant to be car trunk organizers. I mounted this one in the galley to hold various random items. It also somewhat obscures the window so I can still get some natural sunlight in and see the weather but pretend I have a little privacy. Now that it's in the 30s and 40s outside, however, the condensation around port lights is bad so this evening I put the Reflectix insulation back in that one. I'm in the process of mounting various other small net bags for organizing things, but I think the fundamental reality to getting organized will be getting rid of stuff. I've already gotten rid of probably 90% of my worldly possessions but I still can't fit on this boat, so more will have to go. The decisions are difficult and I am, admittedly, a hoarder. I think a lot of it springs from being perpetually broke my whole life and never knowing if I'll have the money to replace whatever I throw out or give away.

In the process of cleaning and organizing, naturally I encountered more mold than I cared to. Although it is less than in the past, it is still an ongoing battle. I wipe surfaces down with a tea tree oil solution, but need to be doing it weekly if I'm going to stay on top of it. I think the best solution is the tea tree gel pots but they are soooo expensive. But I have to admit the price may be worth saving myself the aggravation and allergies.

Winter aboard is truly upon us here in Annapolis. The cats wanted to get outside today but it was very cold and windy so I put their cuddle cups on deck and Hunter happily climbed into one as you can see. Yesterday the winter water was set up and I expect the dock water to be turned off shortly, so I topped off my water tank yesterday afternoon. That should last almost two weeks. Tomorrow I will need to set up some lights in the engine room to keep the engine and water pump from freezing. A few days ago, when it was still warmish out, I tried to start the engine. The starter sort of buzzed but the engine made no attempt to turn over. I've actually never had that problem before. So, I've been stranded in my slip for 9 months when I had planned to be out at least twice a month. I hate being a dock queen. Even if sailing itself doesn't excite me, I want to get the boat out, exercise the systems, practice my docking, anchoring, and general boat-handling skills. It's just depressing. I'm so sick of this marina and want the boat ready to leave when my contract is up at the end of March. 
I don't know exactly when I'll leave or where I'll go. With no real job and no guy here in Annapolis, there is nothing to keep me here. But there is nothing to go to anywhere else, either. But I don't want to just sit here while life passes me by. Even if I go "south" and turn around and come back, I feel I at least have to leave Annapolis sooner than later.

When I was on my trip, everything upended, uncertain, nonetheless I felt centered, balanced, at peace (though never content). Lately I feel off my game, frustrated and anxious. I need to get back to that place where I am centered regardless of what is swirling around me. I know I have it inside me, and just need to clear away all the other noise to get there again. If I have to choose just one word to describe myself it is resilient. That isn't necessarily the quality that would be my first choice, but I am grateful to have the resilience that I do. I just have to use it to help me get back to my center, to be at peace and perceive a deeper love.

Monday, November 3, 2014

all souls' day

I was tempted to get done up again yesterday on the actual Day of the Dead, a/k/a All Souls' Day. I'm not Catholic, but came very close, and it never hurts to take a day to remember our loved ones who are gone. I told pup dog the story about the last time she saw my father. He had measured out individual ziploc bags of dog food for all her meals on a crazy road trip of me and pup driving alone across the country. On the larger bag he had put all the small ones in he had written a note: "For Buttercup, hand-packed with love by Grampa."

Here is a photo of my Halloween Sugar Skull Bride. Random strangers were coming up and taking photographs. The makeup took three hours and three glasses of wine, (twice I had to scrap it and start over because the white hadn't gone on as smoothly as I wanted), and I only had it on for three hours. The night was pretty much a bust and I never got where I was headed. C'est la vie.

I was trying to get to my local pub, where I probably could have won the costume contest. It should have been easy to make it there by 7pm, I only planned to stop for a quick, cheap, happy hour beer and pizza at Boatyard at 6pm. A friend and her new beau met me there and then my drinking crew got there, two guys I've only known three years but seems like we've known each other forever. Time started slipping away, but I figured we would get out of there soon. Then someone else ordered food and an acquaintance hijacked me on the pretense of introducing me to a friend who is a local attorney. I only left my friends thinking it'd be a quick intro and since I'm always looking for work I just wanted to make the connection. But instead they were trying to fix me up with some guy I wouldn't even be able to recognize if he walked past me right now. Zero chemistry, completely not my type. And I just hate people trying to fix me up. If they knew me at all they would know that. If I'm interested in a guy he'll know it. So I was wishing my friends would come grab me and rescue me from the hijacking but they headed outside to smoke. 

It seemed like they'd been gone forever and I worried they'd already headed to the next spot and a busser started clearing all their stuff away. I asked the bartender for my tab, and totally freaked out when I saw it was $60. After paying bills, I only have $50 until my next pay day around the 11th. So my Halloween drinking budget was $30, which was still more than I hoped to spend. A couple beers at the pub is all I really wanted to have since I wanted to get up early to run and didn't want to feel like hell. And since my cheap beer at the pub is $3 a pop, I could pretty easily have a $20 night out. My tab at Boatyard should have been a whopping $8 plus tax, so when I saw this huge tab I started freaking out. The first things I saw were a bunch of beers and one of my friend's margaritas, so I thought the bartender had put my friend's boyfriend's tab on mine. I told the bartender I don't even know the guy. He said it was my friend I had lunch with the other day and he put his stuff on my tab, we're friends, so he put it there. I looked farther down the tab and saw a pizza and shots he'd ordered. The extra beers were likely his, too. I guess they were right outside smoking but when I texted I didn't hear right back from him because he was on the phone with someone. The bartender just kind of shrugged rather than splitting off my stuff and I headed into the head to take a deep breath and get away from everyone. One of the people trying to fix me up came in and over my objection just snatched the tab out of my hand and someone in that group paid it. I didn't want to be some charity case, I just didn't want to be stuck with anyone else's tab since I'm so broke and literally couldn't have paid the whole tab. I always hate having my tab mixed with someone else's. I just want to be able to pay what I owe, not have to hassle with anyone over who owes what, and be able to leave when I want. After putting all that stuff on my tab without my permission and then just shrugging about it, hell will pretty much have to freeze over before I set foot in Boatyard again. I was frantic to get away from the acquaintaces trying to fix me up and wanted to get out of there right then. I should've just waitied, gone to find my friends so they could take care of their portion. But I was all flustered and just freaked out, needlessly. I guess being stuck in this noisy, crowded bar, trying to get away from these people, and then not being able to, being so broke, it just all wound me up into a panic attack. I washed all my makeup off there in the bathroom and rolled straight home to bed. So, Halloween fail. 

To make matters worse the acquaintance gave my phone number to the guy he was trying to fix me up with and showed him my boat, so the guy was banging on the hull when I was trying to sleep and came on the boat to drop a note with his number. High on my list of pet peeves is people just "dropping by" my boat. Just text me if you're in the neighborhood. If I'm up for company, I'll respond. I like my privacy aboard. I would never just show up at someone's house banging on the door. Even if I'm home that doesn't mean I want to see anyone. I might be sleeping, taking a shower, on the phone, screwing someone, or just not in the mood for company. I keep odd hours, so one night I might be up until 2am and another night I may go to bed at 8pm. I sound totally anti-social; maybe I am. I just think I have a right to be social on my terms, when and where I feel like it. 

The winds howled all night Saturday. I stood on the deck pulling a stern line, leaning back with all my weight, trying to get another inch or two off the dock. I forgot to take my sleeping pills so the wind and banging and rocking kept me coming in and out of sleep. But I worry about being too deeply asleep during a gale. I had a bad feeling the tides would be very, very low from the north winds, but it's only the beginning of November, it wouldn't be too bad, right? Then I accidentally caught a glimpse out a port light in the morning and saw how far below the dock we were. 

No way I could get off the boat without getting soaked climbing up to the wet dock, so donned my snow pants and foulie jacket. I thought I would have to untie the dog ramp from the deck and run it from the cabin top to the dock for pup dog to make it ashore, but she looked at the dock and looked at me and while I was adjusting lines she just jumped on up. I had to climb up on hands and knees. When we returned from our walk I figured I would have to get the dog ramp because jumping down is definitely scarier than jumping up. But pup looked at it and then looked back at me and then jumped right down. She turned back and gave me a look: "Mom, I got this!" I told her what a good pup she is, so brave. Then she kept climbing back to the side deck as if to help me. I had to sit on the dock, reach my feet down to the toe rail, and then launch myself over. But this was nothing compared to how low it will get and doing it in daylight without snow makes it much easier. Ah, living the dream.

The schlepp into DC for this project is a major drag, very hard on pup, and completely wrecks my running schedule. Gratefully, I managed to knock out 4 miles on Friday, 6 on Saturday, and 14 long, slow, cold, windy miles yesterday. I should have ran that 14-miler two months ago, so I am under major pressure to get my mileage up quickly without getting injured so I can make it through the 50K right before Christmas. I'm really good at procrastinating, but I'm also a machine when I'm down to the wire and something simply must get done. So, we'll be ramping up to 16 and 18, umm, immediately. The good news: I'm not even sore from the 14 yesterday. Everything else may be falling apart, literally and figuratively, but these legs are rock solid!