Adjer-baby turns 21

Most of you probably already know the story of how we came to be the feeders and petters of Adjima the super cat, but, if not, I'll tell it. 
We had just moved to Anchorage AK, Steve was TDY in Korea, it was snowing a foot a week and the girls and I needed something to liven up the winter.  We went to the pound in search of a kitten.  We found one, a fluffy black and white bouncing fur ball.  There was another kitten there, a sneezy, thin weak looking thing.  The lady at the pound leaned over and whispered to me,"You don't want that one, we're going to put her down, she's too sick."  Of course the girls heard her. Of course we had to rescue the kitten. Of course we went from the pound to the vet and $200 later we had another free kitten. What's money anyway? We named the kittens Mickey and Adjima.  'Adjima' (ahh-jim-a) is Korean for older/married woman.  I figured that she looked so old already and was probably on death's door, she could qualify as an 'Adjima'. She was actually only 7 weeks old. This was in October of 1991.  Mickey died in 1996. Adjima's next brother lived with us for 11 years. Adjima is still hanging in there.
So how does a cat spend her 21st birthday?  In Adjima's case: having an all day nap, tucked into the softest place she can find.  And, no, I didn't make her wear her birthday hat this year.


The Blue (and dotted grey) Highway Tour

Steve with Mt Rushmore in the background.

Have you ever looked at the map and noticed the way the different sized highways are colored?  The interstates are red, the two lane roads are blue, unmaintained roads are grey and the gravel ones are dotted or dashed grey.  Thanks to the Air Force, we've been across the country 4 or 5 times, always on the red roads, Cheetos and sunflower seeds at the ready, getting from assignment to assignment as fast as possible. 
This summer we decided to do something really different. We both had family gatherings to get to in the upper Midwest, but we had a lot of time to get there, so: we parked the boat in Virginia, rented a car for 3 months, bought a tent, dug out the sleeping bags, bought an Engle cooler, zipped Adjima in her carrier, and set off on a slow tour of the US.  The goal was to make it to Minneapolis without driving a red road.
The first night we made it to West Virginia, maybe 200 miles from the start.  There are no straight roads in WV. Lots of roads in WV aren't even on the map.
We meandered our way through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and finally into Minnesota. We stopped and saw friends along the way, we read the Historic Information signs. We drove in 5 days what we usually do in 1 1/2.  No schedule, no hurry.

We shared the road in the Black Hills.

We got to see Steve's family at his mom's 80th birthday party. We hung out for four days with 70 of my favorite cousins.  We watched fireworks. We stayed with Amanda and her cat. 
We went south out of Douglas WY on a nice 2 lane paved road, after 25 miles it abruptly became gravel. We stopped and checked the map. Our road would finally hit a town in another 50 miles.  We kept going.  The road wound down and around, in and out of a forest,  S-curving around huge boulders, becoming more rutted and narrow the farther we went. I was disappointed when it straightened out and got flatter.  It was spectacular.

A beaver dam off in the distance, somewhere in Wyoming.
We're camping when we stop for the night, but I'm not a good camper.  I like hot showers and real bathrooms. Steve likes the much more primitive stuff.  Our compromise is KOA.  We're still in the tent, freezing at night, but I can get up and walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without getting lost.

Campsite in Buena Vista, CO.

We're currently in Albuquerque, NM, a place near and dear to our hearts and stomachs. We were stationed here twice and love both the city and the food.  Our daughter, Hannah, stayed here after graduating college and we plan to spend a week or so with her and her SO, Cameron.
Hannah and Cameron have a rather cozy abode, so we're staying with good friend, Bruce.  I shouldn't understate this so badly: we're not just staying with Bruce, we've moved in. We first met Bruce when he and Steve were skydiving together in Alaska. They worked together in the AF over the years and he retired to ABQ. He has a spacious, beautiful home here and we have taken it over.  We don't have many friends we would consider doing this to, (lucky for all of you) but Bruce is definitely the host with the most and we are very grateful. 

We're used to beaches, but this was incredible.


Laundry Day

This month the RaftUp topic is laundry and clothing.  Since we're currently in the process of driving around most of the US and had to pack a suitcase to get through 3 months, I've found that the clothes that I like best on the boat also are my go-to selections for car travel and camping.
We lived aboard in Florida for 5 years after we bought Celebration and before we left to go cruising, so we had lots of time to figure out what we actually would wear in the hot, hot, humid weather and what slowly made it's way to the bottom of the shelf.  We stopped buying cotton anything.  While I love cotton clothes, once cotton gets wet, it takes forever to dry and without a dryer to keep it in shape, it tends to look baggy and saggy. It's been really hard for me to quit buying cotton T shirts. I had quite a collection from around the world, different golf courses, resorts, towns, events, etc. ( My favorite one was from the Great Wall. It cost $1, and the first time I wore it, the entire left sleeve came off in my hand when I took the shirt off. I got what I paid for.)

We started to buy the new polyester/microfiber blend fabrics. They're usually found in sports clothing and work out wear.  Here in the US I usually find good bargains at TJ Maxx and JC Pennys, look in the golf and work out sections. Steve almost always wears microfiber cargo type shorts, the kind with the mesh underwear attached, and a wicking T shirt. He has a few Air Force T shirts left over from when he was in Iraq, and while they're pretty blandly colored, they wash and dry well. He likes a shirt with a collar when we go out so he has a lot of wicking golf shirts, bought for $15 or less at places like TJ Maxx or Burlington Coat Factory.

My clothing requirements and shopping habits have changed drastically since we started sailing.  I have a 'buy one, get rid of one' rule for clothing and I do stick to it, although I don't make Steve follow it.  The first thing I look at are the buttons and zippers. We wash laundry on the boat and run everything through a wringer ( a mangle if you're a Brit), so anything with large buckles or toggles or rivets is a no-go. Ditto for a metal zipper. They get crunched in the wringer and eventually fall apart. Next step is to take a handful of the fabric and do the wrinkle scrunch for 3 seconds. I don't have much clothing storage space but I try to keep things nice and flat but inevitably they end up smushed or rolled up into the corners.  I hate to pull out a clean shirt and have it look like it needs ironing. I don't iron.  Third thing I do is the sweat test. Lick a finger and press it on the fabric to see what it'll look like when it gets wet.  I only do this in the dressing room.  Sweat and water spray while riding in the dinghy are a way of life for us, but I don't want to look wet forever once I get to shore.  (On that note, I did make a dinghy skirt out of Sunbrella to keep my shorts dry when the weather's bad.)  The color is also important, dark is hotter, while white is too easy for me to mess up.  So to summarize: I look for shirts made of poly that don't wrinkle or look sweaty, short or no sleeves, no metal or big beads, in a medium color, maybe a small pattern, not too tight but not mu mu big. I have a fairly small wardrobe. 

To answer some of the other suggested RaftUp questions.  Yes we do all our laundry on board. I have allergies so I try to use All liquid detergent.  I have some nicer sandals and a couple of summer dresses for anything dress up and I store them in 2 gallon zip loc bags. I never use fabric softener. It interferes with the wicking process of the newer fabrics and it gives me a rash.

Scenes from my suitcase.

This month's other bloggers:

1 Dana svnorthfork.blogspot.com
2 Steph www.sailblogs.com/member/nornabiron
3 Diane http://maiaaboard.blogspot.com
4 Lynn www.sailcelebration.com
5 Ean http://morejoyeverywhere.blogspot.com
6 Jessica http://mvfelicity.blogspot.com
7 Behan http://sv-totem.blogspot.com
8 Jaye http://lifeafloatarchives.blogspot.com
9 Tammy http://ploddinginparadise.com
10 Stacey http://sv-bellavita.blogspot.com
11 Verena www.pacificsailors.com
12 Toast http://blog.toastfloats.com
15 Dana svnorthfork.blogspot.com