Monday, October 31, 2011

Misty is so spoiled...

I went shopping with my mother for her birthday a couple of weekends ago and, while out, I found the item of my dreams: a Le Creuset kettle on sale for $40. I couldn't believe what I was seeing there in the TJ Maxx. It was the only one there and it was the perfect color.

Of course Misty would get a present for my mother's birthday. Brat.

The backstory here is that my old kettle was aluminum. My father purchased it for the boat several years ago (before I lived aboard) because he hates enamel.

Well, what he didn't anticipate was rust. No amount of steel wool could cure that disgusting kettle. Seriously. I have used half a box over the last year. You can see the offending kettle on my stove there:

And recently, I noticed it was starting to rust inside as well as out. Um, no thank you. I prefer my tea with milk and sugar -- not rust!

It's a pretty little kettle isn't it? And with this and my newest member of the collapsible family, Misty is getting to be just a little bit spoiled...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm floored...

Picture post to come from the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis -- I went with Greg and had a fabulous time. I looked all over for ranges, but I didn't see a single one.

What I did find was flooring.

Ladies and gentlemen, the beautiful Burmese teak interior of my boat is marred by a rotting faux teak and holly floor. It's.. well it's disgusting.

Sometimes when I step on said floor if I've spilled water or it's been raining and I've left a hatch open (yes, OK, I have occasional bouts of stupidity.)

I tripped last week and popped up a piece of said faux nightmare flooring and discovered that the subfloor is quite wet and nasty.


Now, I will say that my father and I agree that teak and holly flooring looks like it belongs in a bowling alley. You can see mine below the table (a bad laminate-covered disaster):

You can also see in the photo below the aluminum outline around a hatch cover. Um, ew. (Sorry for the poor picture, I couldn't find a recent one).

Now that up there is what I want... lovely hatches inlaid with wood. Pretty teak and holly that isn't rotting.

But you'll never believe what the above photo is. It's Lonseal. Yes. Faux teak and holly. You may be stunned. It's not a real surprise that faux flooring looks better now than it did in 1983 when Misty was built. It's also antimicrobial. And you know I am totally down to the ground with anything antimicrobial on Misty. That girl is a mold factory.

Anyway, I ordered some Lonseal samples to check out. I was super impressed with their product at the boat show. My dad is working on ordering marine plywood we can use to re-do the sub-flooring and is investigating a way to inlay my hatches so that they don't stick up several millimeters from the floor. We need about two sheets of the plywood (which is more dense than regular plywood), some Lonseal (which needs to be ordered from Defender after we pick a color), something to seal the side of the sub-floor that touches the bilge. I also want to re-paint the bilge while I'm down there. Why not, right?

I'll let you know when I get the samples, but I'm pretty excited at the prospect of a new floor and I hope to get one in before winter. Cross your fingers!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Expanding the collapsible collection...

It's no secret that I have somewhat limited space. I mean... I live on a boat. That's like the definition of "limited space."

This has brought about a love -- some might call it an obsession -- of all things collapsible. This goes double for kitchen items.

I have been expanding my collection of collapsible kitchen items over the past two years and it's still a pretty small collection. But just last week I added a coveted piece to said collection and couldn't resist sharing with you.

Now, I'm not going to sugar coat this: Collapsible kitchen items are not cheap. You can buy uncollapsible kitchen items for less than half the price of collapsible ones usually. But I value my kitchen space and I just really don't have anyplace to PUT bulky items like collanders and dish racks that do not collapse.

Yes. That's right. I got a collapsible collander. I have seen these before. Target carries them. But they have always been way too large for my needs. My sink is only about 10 inches wide, which makes a traditional collander a bit of a strain. No pun intended.

This beauty I found at the Container Store on a recent trip to buy some bins I could use to organize my refrigerator (which, try as I might, I can't seem to take pictures of. No amount of flash will fix the fact that it's a dark, dark hole.)

Isn't she pretty?

She strains with the best of them. I was even more inspired to stick the collander in the cart since I dumped an entire batch of cooked soba noodles into the sink two weeks ago while I was trying to drain boiling water from the pot using its lid. This is about the third time in two years I have done this. Never again. Never. Ever. Again.

I also wanted to share my collapsible dish rack. My mom found this at BJ's Wholesale a year or so ago and snapped it up for me. It is incredibly sturdy (as you can see by the way I have overloaded it) and it collapses to less than 2 inches high, making it the perfect height to slide into the slot behind my counter and above my fridge. (Pay no attention to the laundry in the background -- it was a chores kind of night.)

I also have collapsible measuring cups. Now THOSE are awesome. A normal-sized cup measure will not fit in my utensil drawer. I got my collapsible one a couple months ago at Target after drooling over them for two years. Yes. I tortured myself over a $15 purchase. What can I say? I'm a freak. Don't be like me. Go forth. Buy collapsible -- your cupboards will thank you!

Next on my list? Collapsible mixing bowls -- if only I could find some that I like! If you have some you love, please share!

Source for measuring cups

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oh the humidity!

Let me tell you about a fun thing that happens when you live on a boat and it rains for a week solid: EVERYTHING is damp and MOST OF IT gets moldy.

I am cringing just thinking of sharing these stories. If you are squeamish about mold you may want to stop reading right about now.

So here are the things you need to know before I start this tale of gruesome woe:
1. It rained for an entire week, thanks to Tropical Storm Lee.
2. I gave up and went to stay with the boyfriend for the rainiest weekend of them all.
3. The humidity was getting to me. OH THE HUMIDITY!

OK, now that you are properly prepared, I will begin.

When I came home, I decided to make toast. I love toast. I eat a lot of toast. And what did I discover that day? Well, I realized I hadn't emptied my crumb tray in a couple of weeks, so I took the toaster outside, held it over the side of the boat and shook. Nothing came out. Perplexed, I looked inside only to see that all the crumbs had turned into GREEN PUFFBALLS.

I manned up and took a couple deep breaths before I pried the bottom off of my $6 toaster and scraped the mold off, bleached the tray and then ran the toaster without toast thinking the heat might kill the mold.

When I told my mom this story, she said: "Um, why not throw it out? You said it doesn't work well anyway and you're the only person who uses the toaster at our house -- take that one."

So I did. I threw out the toaster. I just.... couldn't.

After the puffball incident, I realized my rug was damp and the floor was getting to be a strange color. Yep. My rug was molding. And I couldn't get it to dry because of the humidity. Luckily I was able to save it with a quick trip through a washing machine and an air dry in a house that isn't as humid as a rainforest.

My towels were also distressingly still damp from a shower taken days before.

I attacked the mold with all my might and green cleaners -- it was raining on and off, so I couldn't deal with bleach in the cabin without ports open -- but you can be sure my bleach bottle is going to get a workout soon. Yick!

In the meantime, it has dried out a lot, but I am still researching ways to dehumidify, including the purchase of three 900-gram packets of silica gel in tyvek bags (they're rechargeable!) I don't see good reviews for the boat dehumidifiers on the market, but I can't figure out what else to do. I simply cannot fit a dehumidifier.

That said, the rain has stopped and the boat has dried out a LOT recently.... so maybe this was a fluke and I don't need a dehumidifier.

What do you all think?