Got Stuff ? Mar15

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Got Stuff ?

It’s probably obvious that one of our earliest challenges was identifying what items were necessary to bring with us on our journey.  Keeping in mind, that we very much didn’t want to have the attitude, “we can just buy it if we need it” like we do on vacation.  So, we made piles. Piles of kitchen goods. Piles of clothes. Piles of books. We then made several trips to the rig to stow and reassess.  In the end, our hope was that we brought just the right amount of everything and mostly that we didn’t leave anything necessary behind.  Sure, there were early items we thought were important, but didn’t make the cut, and were left whimpering from storage, take me, take me.

Those who know me well, understand my love of a good, well balanced wardrobe.  Choosing what clothes to bring was indeed my biggest challenge.  Fortunately, Lin doesn’t have the same attachment to clothes and she offered me the bigger half of the closet, and more cabinet and drawer space for my precious clothing options.  This got me to thinking about why I have an attachment to clothing, and I’m inclined to believe that it validated me on some level.  The dozen suits I wore during my days at the investment bank in SF, were required in order to fill the role, of poised, put together, intelligent young lady, even if it was only that initial three second assessment that someone made of me.  Looking the part, was a requirement for that role.  Although my most recent professional life, didn’t require me to suit up, it seems I may have held onto them more as a symbol, a remembrance of the days when I did fill those very big shoes.  What else am I holding onto that doesn’t serve me in a real way right now?

Now, speaking of shoes, another great love of mine,  I have more than I need, but not as many as I’ve wanted.  Meaning, I have exercised some control, and just appreciated their beauty through the glass window, not buying another pair, especially while preparing for this trip.  In the end, I whittled it down to lucky #13 pairs of shoes, feeling confident that I would wear each pair given the right circumstances.  To date, I’ve thrown one pair out due to loving them beyond repair, which was an anticipated loss, and I’ve worn another eight pair.  Ultimately this makes me feel less guilty about my choices and the additional weight to the rig and the overall impact to our current mpg (miles per gallon) of 8.1.

My shoes that made the cut

My shoes that made the cut

At times, I dream about where I’ll use my high heal shoes that my former boss, Nan, insisted I take.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it.  I’m still optimistic that the opportunity will unfold, like a nice dinner while staying at a hotel.  Yes, that too is in the budget.  Ultimately, I like having choices, depending on mood and circumstances, it provides one small creature comfort from home.  Seems like I’m not the only one challenged by shoe choices, as evidenced by the shoe rack outside our neighbor’s door.  Yet, the word choice seems odd in their case given they are all hiking shoes!!   And I’ve checked, it’s only a couple, not a family of 4.

Is there really a choice here?

Is there really a choice here? There’s 9 pair of hiking shoes!

Speaking of, we’re adhereing quite well to the budget in these early days, even experiencing some savings in a few areas, although our friend Makers Mark, is no longer a frequent visitor. Currently, we’re experimenting with it’s cousin, Jim Beam, the one found on the knee level shelf at the store.

Since cooking is another hobby of mine, one I’m trying to keep active, although rig cooking provides its own challenges. Smoking fish inside the rig is not a good idea.  But I digress.  Determining what equipment to bring required great care and pre–thought.  Making the cut were the toaster oven, crock pot, small strainer, margarita glasses, and a glass pan to name a few.  We’ve since parted with the margi glasses, as one broke on our second day.  It’s just like an airplane.  We need a flight attendant onboard to remind us that items in the overhead cabinets will shift in flight.  Kablam!  There we were cleaning up broken glass on our second day.  Friends Donna and Saundi warned us of the danger of opening cabinets, so looking to learn from their hard lesson & a few stitches, we take cover when one of us is sitting beneath a cabinet being opened.

Taking cover

Taking cover

Left behind to collect dust in storage were the hand mixer, bunt pan (for all those cakes I won’t be baking), blender, food processor & wine decanter. But the real amusement centers around the number of spices that made the cut. 

Can you have too many spices?

Can you have too many spices?

I feel compelled to defend this action by saying that spices left in storage a year would be ick, and picking up a jar of this or that along the way would be wasteful since we already owned it.  Although, never a girl scout, I came well prepared to whip up a coq au van, curry, or well seasoned crock of something.  I feel a new mission coming on – make a meal based on the spices we wish to consume, again to validate my choices.  Hmm, there’s that word validation again – might need to ponder on that more.  Living with less, hasn’t been too difficult, well except the time I made pasta and it required dumping the hot water outside in batches.  Remember the small strainer and in my head I was hearing a warning from our friend JoDee who suggested that boiling water in fragile plastic pipes isn’t ideal.  Something to think about the next time, you whip up a three pot meal.

I found myself surprised one night as I began to prepare a dish I’ve made at least three dozen times  only to discover that two key ingredients were missing.  After a feverish search, tearing apart the cabinet and the storage under the seat cushions, I had  a small melt down, before I picked myself up by the boot straps and just made do.  I added a little more of this & that to account for the missing ingredients.  Unlike cooking, there isn’t a recipe for rig living, you’ve got to make it up as you go along.  A few nights later, I amused myself as I hunted in the cabinet, only by feel and was able to identify about 10 jars and boxes by feel until I found the barbecue sauce.  It reminded me of a childhood game of sorts.

We haven’t left all our creature comforts behind, I do have my mom’s plush, pink, chenille bathrobe (which I wear almost every day) a small vacuum (clean floors are a must)  and a mini pedicure kit (which I hope/need to use soon).  I see the makings for a good argument to show off my pedicure, my high heal shoes and go out for a piece of three layer highly seasoned cake.  All in all, I’m feeling good about our packing choices. Doing with much less stuff, doesn’t mean doing without.  How about you, do you feel a spring cleaning come on?