Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Project Seize the Space more or less of a success, plus Labor Day at the club

Labor Day at Sebago

Note, the following day - This was sort of a rambley post, I tried not to vent too much but was actually feeling quite frustrated at not finishing my self-imposed cleaning task within what should have been plenty of time. But I have to remind myself I did get some other stuff done - I assisted TQ with a class at Sebago, I got my annual mammogram done, took a bunch of books and clothes to Housing Works, finished the book of Margaret Atwood short stories I'd been reading and binge watched the rest of Season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale (ok I don't count watching a lot of TV as "getting something done" but I'd been wanting to watch those - I was suspicious that I wasn't going to like it once they were off the original book that I'd read and loved in the 80's, but I'm still in and ready for Season 3 now), had dinner with friends, and made it to the greenmarket for another round of peaches, tomatoes and corn (season's winding down!) on Sunday. Plus I was dealing with a tummy bug early in the week, and then the heat wave really did slow me down. Adding all that in, I guess I did manage to get a decent amount of stuff into the week. 

Well, that was one of the least relaxing staycations I've ever spent - clearing out space for TQ after 15 years having my place all to my untidy self was a massive project. I'm glad I took a week off for it, I wish I could take one more. At this point I actually have cleared out the smaller of the 2 bedroom closets (that was the easy one, that was genuinely kind of the "extra" closet in the place and I'd never put much in there), plus lots of space in the coat closet, the linen closet, various kitchen storage, and then half the medicine cabinet and some space under the sink. So I would say that that part of Project Seize the Storage is DONE. WHOOP. Cleaning bonus - I've had some recent rodent incursions in the kitchen and I found the mousehole when I pulled out the stove to do some vacuuming behind there, they'd chewed themselves a perfect little mouse-sized doorway where the gas line for the stove comes through the wall. Plugged it with steel wool, hoping that takes care of it. After that, I had to clean behind the fridge too - fortunately the only critters operating back there were dust bunnies. 

Still a bit of clutter around here and there from the point at which I basically everted the contents of every closet and bookshelf onto the floor  - that's where one more week would be faaaabulous, I could wrap this up in one more day and then I could spend the rest of the week unwinding at the beach or on the bay. That would be heavenly. Unfortunately work constraints will not allow. As it is I'll just need to squeeze the wrap-up of the last bits into the evenings after work this week - Saturday is the 3rd of the club races at Yonkers, and then on Sunday I'm signed up to help out with the spinach eating contest at the Great North River Tugboat Race and Skills Contest - that's usually on Labor Day but it's the week after this year. Always tons of fun! Will make for a busy weekend but I couldn't resist saying yes to both.

I did give myself Labor Day off. Originally TQ and I had planned an afternoon paddle, but unfortunately it got hot again and they ended up being shorthanded at the pool where he works in the summer, so he got called in. He still gave me a ride to the club, and I decided to take advantage of this surprise solo outing to get out for a spin in my surfski, which hadn't touched the water yet this year. Nice to confirm that it still floats and I can still stay on top of it. I started out with a lap in the basin, starting with going up to the top of the basin. I hadn't planned for it to be a birding paddle but there were a couple of ospreys hanging out at the north end, plus kingfishers and cormorants, and then down in Canarsie Park there was a hawk, maybe a red tailed although it was perched facing the basin, so I couldn't really see the tail. 

I'd originally planned to just do a couple of laps in the basin but I was feeling pretty solid and there was a tempting breeze coming in under the bridge from the bay, so I decided to go on out there. Went to Mill Basin and and then on the way back it hit me that I haven't practiced my surfski remounts in ages (I literally can't remember how long it's been, which isn't really good), and it was really hot, so I decided to pull over to the beach just west of the basin to work on those.  Falling in felt great but turns out I've kind of lost the knack - there was one where I was practically back on and then a big wake came in and whoops over I went again, and then the more I tried the worse they got. I joke about not paddling my ski anywhere I can't swim to shore, because it's really old (brought here for one of the Finlandia Clean Water Challenge races, Chicago to NYC, which were run in the early to mid 90's), but unless I can get the remount back to second nature I'll need to be a little more serious about that. Fortunately that's quite possible in J-bay.

After banging myself up failing remounts, I decided to head on back to the dock - surfski is a much more demanding boat than a sea kayak, I can lounge in my Romany, surfski requires constant engagement. Great to get out on that boat, I'd actually been thinking that might be fun before TQ suggested we go out together, so this was just reverting to Plan A. It was a pretty short paddle, just 4.5 miles, and I did consider going back up to the end of the basin again, but in the end I whussed out and just stopped at the club.

Busy day at the club - besides me, some of the sailors were out doing a little racing practice (the annual Sebago Cup cruising race is on the 15th - unfortunately TQ and I are teaching a class that day, so can't join in on that, and then they'll be doing some fall racing) and a pretty good group of our more experienced paddlers had launched in the morning for a paddle to the Bungalow Bar in Queens. I was also not the only random afternoon paddler, it was a good day to be a member and people were taking full advantage. Great seeing all the activity!

Looking forward to some cooler paddling weather soon.


Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Oh my word! I'd say you got a LOT done! I love reading about your paddling adventures. It is such a different world to mine. Husby and I canoed (?) quite a bit until his poor old canoe went the way of all the earth. He's been going to build a cedar one but hasn't gotten to it yet. There's still time!

Haralee said...

I am beat just reading all you did! A little cooler weather, just a bit, is refreshing but I am not ready for the chill and the rains!

Rebecca Olkowski said...

Sounds like fun being out and paddling. Glad you got a day in to do what you love.