Monday, January 14, 2013

Thank you cards coming soon!

Stationery Card
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Skiing with uncle Scott!!

Hi again!

Thought I'd share a few more pictures with you while I'm downloading them from my phone. 
Here Henry is on his new "fast" skis trying them out for the first time. I'm running along/snowboarding  taking photos and throwing out words of encouragement while Ben is hands on picking Henry up when he falls, giving instructions, and trying to teach him to turn/snowplow, and just being a general comfort to Henry by running along side offering a hand just in case he needs it. 

 Henry loves the new skis and really did go quite a bit faster. With real ski boots he was also able to keep his ankles straighter and get a bit more balance. 
 As I mentioned in the lengthy post below, Scott happened to be on the mountain the same day and took Henry for a few real ski runs.
 I helped him off and on the lit and ran down the mountain like a fool taking pictures while Scott did all the rest. He really got Henry into it. We are in trouble now. Running alongside may no longer be acceptable to him. 
 Henry loves uncle Scott! We were so excited to see him on the hill. 
This was definitely Henry's favorite time skiing so far!!

 Here is the temp today just in case anyone is wondering. 
yes, that is a negative 11 degrees you are seeing. BRRRR. 
The plan was to take Henry up again today for a half day, but it's sooo cold, and Henry has actually caught a slight sniffly nose & cough, so I'm keeping him in and feeding him lots of chicken soup & trying to keep it from becoming a full blown winter snot fest kind of cold. 
I'm pretty sure I'm on my way to catching whatever it is myself, because I was holding him early this morning (around 3am) when he called me in, and he coughed straight up my nose..yuck! He coughed in my face a bunch more this morning when he woke up, so wish us all luck. Lots of vitamins and resting for team Davidson today.... well, except Ben who has to work. (although I wouldn't be surprised if he took a half day since they are ahead of schedule anyway)
His van was actually so cold this morning that even after warming it up the antifreeze was frozen causing the van to overheat etc... BRRR! so cold here, but so pretty with all the snow! 
I'm sure we will try to keep you all updated while we are in Bozeman. Hope everyone is having a winter as fun as we are! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Before I add more pics, I'll fill you in a little

While I'm waiting for Ben to return my camera I'll fill you in a little on where we are, and what we are up to. 

    We have left Blakely Island and are in Bozeman Montana!... well.. Belgrade to be exact. We have a lease for a furnished house in downtown Bozeman, but it's not ready for another couple weeks, so we had to do a weekly rental in belgrade while we wait it out. Why didn't we just stay on Blakely you ask? Because Ben was asked to come early for work. He has been itching to get here anyway, so it seemed logical at the time...
    Anyway, here we are. We have been here exactly a week today! We are in a nice subdivision with a sledding hill right behind the house and an iced over lake where people ice fish and skate, so it's been pretty good! Henry has gone sledding three times, and skiing three times, so he's been a busy boy, which means we've been busy too!
     Ben is almost done framing the house he came early to frame already, and will be waiting on trusses soon. It's going super fast! He even took Friday off to have a family powder day at Bridger Bowl. We took that opportunity to introduce Henry to the char lift and get him going down a real ski slope. Uncle Scott bought Henry a new set of skis for Christmas & we had tried them out quickly on the sledding hill on Thursday, but this was the real test. After a few runs Henry wanted to go faster & was getting really unpatient with his "slow" skis. He kept pointing at the bigger runs & saying he wanted to go on the steeper hill! ha ha. The trouble really was that the baby training skis he got had little scales on the bottom to make them slower & easier to learn on. That might work for a more timid child.. but Henry has a need for speed.
    So after leaving the hill, we went to a second hand shop and bought him a pair of big boy "fast" skis. Then yesterday we hit the slopes again to try them out. AMAZING! Success; we had speed! This required some relearning since these ones took real ski boots instead of snow boots, but he took to it quickly! he loves his new fast skis and although we are still learning the snowplow, he can turn with some instruction and luckily doesn't seem to mind crashing.
Uncle Scott even happened to be there yesterday & found us on the hill. He took Henry for three runs!! I'm pretty sure that was his favorite part of the day! Henry loves uncle Scott & they went really fast down the hill together! Way faster than mom & dad were going. :)
    So that takes us up to taday. We are at home today trying to organize, write Christmas thank you cards (yes, late again) and of course watch the HAWKS game!!! Ben is off buying some new ski boots, because after watching Scott with Henry yesterday, we have realized that to teach Henry to ski, we should be skiing, not snowboarding.. bummer. I bought new boots yesterday, because as you can see from the picture on the post below, the back of my calf is super bruised from my old ski boots. They fit great before I had Henry, but my foot grew, so they are way too small now and they sit funny on my foot cramming the back into my leg at an awkward angle. Ouch! I'm surprised I made it down the mountain I was in so much pain. My toes were actually worse. They were crammed so hard into the boot that they went numb before I even got off my first lift. Thought I was going to break them for sure.
Oh well, new boots, now I have comfy feet!
    We left the marina with some projects still to do. We plan to come back to the island either April or may. I'm pretty sure I'll be going first.
    Actually, we are headed back to Washington next weekend to go to the Seattle gift show for the marina. We will only be around for a couple days before coming back to Montana. I need to head back to Washington in Feb too for a baby shower for Courtney!! super excited! I think I will leave Henry with Ben for that & take a long weekend so I can make it a shorter drive by myself with less henry stops.
    Ok, so I think I've got you pretty much caught up. More pictures coming soon.
Love, Team Davidson!

coolest Christmas tree ever?!

Ok, so don't mind all the stuff on the table, but I'm pretty sure it's safe to say we had the coolest Christmas tree ever this year! 
Because it was entirely star wars themed!

 Here are a few (slightly blurry) shots of the awesomeness!! 

 Yes, that's Chewwy!
I forgot to post this before, so it's a bit out of order, but I thought you'd all like to see it anyway. 
Just so everyone knows, Star Wars is one of Henry's very favorite movies, so he was beyond thrilled with this tree! He was so sad to see it taken down. The ornaments belong to Ben's mom Laurie. She has the whole Star Wars collection from Hallmark and let us use them for our boat tree! How cool!!

Some Bozeman Pictures..more coming

Henry on his new "big boy" skis. Trying to ski inside is not easy.
First day on the slopes. 
Henry loves the chairlift!
 Learning to turn

 Showing off his ski pass with papa in the lodge. 

 This is what Henry looked like at the end of the day. 
after this quick "nap" on the floor he was back out on the hill for 3 more runs before totally passing out. 
This is what my leg looked like at the end of the day! 
This is what bad ski boots do to you people! 
Pay the money & get good ones... lesson learned!
 This was Henry's first day ever on skis!
 I took him out on the local sledding hill behind the house & we gave it a good go before hitting the real slopes at Bridger Bowl. 
So much powder!
 So much snow to eat!
 snowballs are pretty cool too.
 is this the cutest kid you've ever seen or what? 
 Bridger skiing.
 So cold!
 Wish you could see his face. It was -1 degree, so we had to bundle up!!
More pictures on the way!! Ben has my phone with all my pictures on it from skiing yesterday!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Christmas time again!

Wow, almost a whole year since our last post!! I can't believe it!
    We are currently back on board Wind-Borne. We seem to keep moving back on board to winter up here on Blakely. This time though there is no snow. We are significantly warmer. Although we are having 60 mile/hr wind gusts and a gale forecasted for at least the next few days, so the rigging is singing us to sleep at night and Wind-Borne is rocking with that familiar "at sea" feeling like we are under way instead of at the dock. Luckily the winds are mostly S,SE, and a bit SW, so we are protected by the island. We are getting hit harder than usual though due to the fact that we have moved from our usual slip to the very end of the dock to avoid hitting bottom during the recent "super tides" we've been having. The other day tide was like 3 feet below the usual low. It's really cool to see.
     Mr. barometer says pressure is all over the place. I keep resetting it, because I've become extremely interested in how it works. Ben is usually the one toying with it. He is an expert at taking it's readings and turning it into an accurate weather prediction. Pressure dropped significantly the last few days pointing from fair weather to almost certain rain. I'm fascinated.
     Henry is almost 3 years old!!! Can you believe it? We can't. He is so excited to spend his birthday up here on Blakely just like we did last year. He is already talking about his candles and keeps telling everyone he is two, but his birthday is soon and he will be three! I can't believe he understands all that. He's not a baby anymore thats for sure.
    Henry also saw Santa again last week! He came on the christmas boat with all his pirates and elves again. Henry was ready for him this time, because he remembered last year. He was the center of attention as he was the only child on the island this year! He sat on Santa's lap several times, and got two sets of presents. He also opened his gifts on Santa's lap and sword fought Santa with his balloon sword that the pirates made for him. Really!? What kid gets to sword fight Santa? Pretty awesome!
   I'll include some pictures from the event.
   As far as news on Ben & i go... we are pretty much the same as last year. Still happy and healthy. Ben is actually in Bozeman right now with Scott framing up a house. Henry and I elected to stay behind on the boat, because we have work to do up here.
    We do have some really exciting news to tell you all though! ... We are the new operators of the Blakey Island marina and Store!! I'm still in a bit of shock about it really. I know we haven't mentioned it to most of you, but thats because we were certain we wouldn't get it. We have been secretly working on a proposal for the board since last summer. We have yet to sign the formal lease. (Jan 1st!!) But have lots of prep work to do. The store is a bit of a mess from last years operators so we have been fixing some things and lots of painting has been going on. So much painting. There is so much to tell you about it that I don't know where to begin. I think maybe i'll write another post about it another time.
    Ben is due back from Montana in a few days just in time for H man's birthday. He is very missed back here at home on Blakely. Henry and I are hanging out on the boat playing with play dough & leggos right now. Banjo is sleeping under the table on top of my feet. He is the best kind of boat dog. He sleeps a lot when indoors and goes into a kind of hibernation mode. It's funny. He shimmies under the settee and tucks himself away until he's either called out to play, or there's food being eaten of course.
   Actually, it just occurred to me that since we haven't written in a year you don't officially know about Banjo. He is our new(ish) puppy. He is a basset hound something mix. We think maybe a golden retriever. It's a funny mix, but super cute. He came to us from a rescue agency. We found him on petfinder last spring and couldn't resist. His little face just called to us. He wasn't trained in the slightest when we got him. He had never had a collar or leash on and had some injuries he was recovering from.  He had a broken tail and a bad limp in his hind leg. He was also really touchy about his ribs. We think maybe he was hit by a car? He is a bit afraid of strangers still, but is much better than when we got him. He would bark and try to run from anyone who came near him. He was also not potty trained, so we got that taken care of asap. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I have been too busy to properly train him much otherwise. He knows sit, come, and sort of stay.. but otherwise he's a free range dog. I'll get there eventually.
    Wow, long post again. I keep doing that. I know I need to write more often. maybe I'll make Ben write the next post. Happy holidays friends and family!! Hope to hear from or see you all soon!!

 family photo before Santa arrived
 Here comes the Christmas boat!
 So excited to see Santa! With grandma & grandpa.

 Henry had many sword fights!
 Santa's crew
 Henry was a fantastic greeter.
 Sorry Mrs. Clause! Henry was blocking her with his sword in ever shot. bummer.
 Banjo & Henry
Love, Ben, Kristen, Henry, and Banjo aka Team Davidson

Friday, January 20, 2012

Deep freeze 2012!
Before you start, you should know that this is a LONG post! We had no internet for a few days, so I just kept this post running like a captain’s log for a few days until I could put it up. I tried to separate days by putting a few spaces in between them.

Hey guys!!
Of course in the true nature of Team Davidson, we chose the coldest week of the year to move aboard Wind-Borne! Why would we make it easy on ourselves? We are sitting here in the main Salon looking at our glowing white windows covered in snow! It’s literally a blizzard out there. 30 knot winds and snow coming down pretty thick. The boat is listing and making howling creaking noises, making the storm sound worse than I’m sure it probably is. We got to the island yesterday and luckily spent a fairly warm night on board thanks to our two electric heaters working round the clock to keep us thawed out. This morning however the temp took a dive and we are getting pretty cold. I have noticed that throughout the morning each of us has added several extra layers of clothing. Ben is sitting at the table working on some plans wearing a carhart coat and wool hat, and I am typing in two jackets and wool slippers with wool hat as well. Henry is having his nap and is wearing full clothes plus my bathrobe wrapped around him with several blankets and a heater in the room with him. ….um, maybe it’s time to rethink things a bit? Maybe put it off until the snow storm ends?
Well, if nothing else, we got some good pictures to show you guys right?.
I forgot to tell you all that Ben is awesome and got me a late Christmas present less than a week ago that I have been pining over for quite some time. A new Camera!! I’m so excited! Ours don’t’ seem to last too long (probably due to our traveling lifestyle) We have lost quite a few to humidity including our last one in Australia. That’s a huge part of the reason we haven’t been able to post many pictures in recent months. Almost all the pictures we have posted are from our phones.
Well, other than the freezing conditions outside, Wind-Borne is working out just fine for us, minus the usual projects that will always need working on. We are settling in and making ourselves at home. It’s really pretty comfy in here.

We just recently returned to the boat from the cabin where I was packing the rest of our things up, and man is it cold outside!! The wind is brutal!! It’s so cold! I watched a few minutes of the weather report and we are definitely supposed to be getting down well below zero tonight. The boat is staying fairly warm, but we are all still well bundled. We are all in long johns under our clothes. I think we may start the engine for a while to make the water heater warm up. Ben is worried that it may freeze. I can’t wait to curl up and watch some BONES in bed tonight. Ben got me a couple seasons of it on DVD for my birthday in May, and he still hasn’t seen them all. I love a good Bones marathon!

We managed to stay warm and cozy on our boat through the worst of the winter storm we had. The snow is thawing and starting to get slushy now. I watched the news a bit again yesterday, and found out that 180,000 homes lost power the last couple days!! With all the freezing rain sleet, and snow trees have been snapping in half and branches have been falling all over the place knocking power lines out like crazy! The governor declared a state of emergency and the Seattle area is basically shut down until the roads thaw out. If you have been to Seattle you know it has crazy steep hills all over and there is no way I would drive on them covered in ice. All the schools are closed including Orcas Island!
I called my brother and mom to see if they had power, and it turns out they both were. My mom luckily has a gas fireplace where she is staying in Issaquah, so she was warm and toasty. Although I didn’t talk to my brother, mom said he was out of power and had to vacate their house, with no other means of heat other than electric, and go stay with his wife Sarina’s parents in Issaquah who are also out of power, but luckily have a generator.
It’s good news for the Seattle area is thawing out, but I hear it’s supposed to result in a huge amount of flooding, so it’s unfortunately not the end of the trouble people will be seeing from this storm. I feel quite fortunate to be out here on Blakely where it has not really affected us at all. We are warm and cozy here. It’s funny, without stopping into the house to check the news we would have no idea what was going on out there in the “real world” It seems a world away. Apparently we got tons of snow at our house in Ellensburg, which people are way more prepared for over there, so it’s not too big of a deal. Luckily we turned our water off this time when we left the house, so no danger of pipes freezing and breaking like they did a few weeks ago. There was however a nasty accident on the freeway between Cle Elum and Ellensburg involving 7 semi trucks and a state trooper that shut the entire thing down for a whole day!! Yikes!! Everyone is ok though luckily.

It’s Friday mid day and I finally have some time to try and figure out how to download pictures from my new camera onto the computer, so hopefully I’ll be able to post this today and show you what’s been going on. One thing I especially wanted to post were new pictures of Wind-Borne’s interior. I realize it has been a very long time since many of you have seen a picture of what she looks like on the inside and it is prompting quite a few of you to ask us questions about life aboard. I would love to help you understand how we live on the boat a little better.
We keep getting asked what Henry thinks of the boat, and how will we keep him on it, and how will we cook, and keep warm. We also had one person ask if Henry has to wear a life jacket to bed in case he falls over board!! Clearly we have not explained how the boat really looks or functions recently! None of these are bad or silly questions, just ones we’d like you to have the answers to.
Here goes, As you can see from the pictures, Wind-Borne is a 36 foot sailboat. Inside we have 6’3” headroom. There are two cabins with double beds. One at the front of the boat for Ben and I and one in the back that is supposed to be for Henry, but he doesn’t like to sleep there. We also have an L shaped settee (or couch) on the left (port) side of the boat that has an insert to make it a double bed (this is where Henry likes to sleep), and another smaller one on the right (starboard) side. We can comfortably sleep 6 adults and one child on Wind-Borne. The dining table folds down from the wall, and can easily be put up in a few seconds to leave the whole main living area open for Henry to play in. We do have a functioning kitchen (galley) with stove, oven, fridge, and sink. We also have a functioning bathroom (head) with sink, toilet, and drum roll please…a BATHTUB!! There is also plenty of storage and closet space plus a small desk (nav station)
So, since it’s cold outside we don’t’ spend any time on the deck or in the cockpit, so keeping him on board is not an issue. Obviously, he does not need to wear a life jacket inside since there is no danger at all of him falling overboard. (we do have two for him on board though, just in case of course) We stay warm with two electric heaters. We will need to find another heat source if we leave the dock, but that’s a whole other post in itself. We can easily make meals on board, do dishes, wash our hands, everything you would do in a normal house, just on a smaller scale, and you can’t use as much water, because we are limited to the amount we can store on board. I can’t quite remember how much we can have at one time but I think it’s close to 150 gallons. Ben knows the answers to that stuff. We have the laptop with us, and can watch movies on it. We are supposed to be able to get internet there, but it’s not working at the moment. Hopefully we will get that fixed soon. The only real issue is phone service! Neither of our cell phones work here on Blakely (Ben can get texts) And, of course we have no land lines on the boat, so we are out of luck If we want to make a phone call. If we had internet and it was an emergency or something we could skype from the computer to make a call, but it doesn’t really work for Ben’s business or for people getting ahold of us, thus we return to the cabin to use the phone if we need to for now.
I hope this helps. If you have more questions for us please ask!! No question is a bad question!! We realize not everyone is familiar with boats, especially not living on one! That’s why we try to write our blog in a way that doesn’t include tons of boat lingo.
Oh, I almost forgot, Yes, Henry does like the boat!! He has a lot of toys and books on board, and has us to play with, so he’s pretty well entertained. When we put the table up there is quite a bit of room. We even played soccer in there this morning. He can also watch movies if he gets too bored and we can’t entertain him. We are never inside all day anyway, so he gets a break from the boat for a few hours either in the morning or evening no matter what.
The only thing he doesn’t like is the fact that helping me cook is not as fun or easy as it is in a house. He likes to be involved with cooking meals. The galley is just too small for him to stand in with me, but he can watch from the settee on the other side of the sink. He has also been getting into trouble trying to blow the flame out on our alcohol powered stove. (he is not used to a stove with flames)He also bumps his head occasionally when he is tired and grumpy, because he tends to show us his frustration by throwing his head around…which is no good on a boat. The only other thing that he gets into on board is the VHF radio at the nav station. We have to make sure he doesn’t use it, because we could get in big trouble if he ties up the coast guard station. He always wants to call people on it like a phone.
Alright, the little man is waking up from his nap now, so my typing time is over. Hope you enjoyed our marathon 4 day long post!!! Hope those of you in Washington are staying warm and safe!!

We went sledding at Snoqualmie pass on the way over to the island on Monday!! Woo Hoo!! I had to take pictures quickly and shut the camera off so snow wouldn't get on the lense, so there aren't too many. We all had a lot of fun!!

Up at the island:

Snow everywhere!

Henry checking out house plans with papa on Wind-Borne

The dock. Don't worry, it was snowy, but not slippery.


Snowy boat.

The view into our cockpit. (Don't mind our recycling pile)

We had some ice form on the inside of our windows.

This may give you an idea of how windy it is here. The snow was all blown into drifts.

Ben headed out to check the lines.

Cooking in my winter hat and jacket. (The boat did eventually warm up.)
Here are a few pictures of Wind-Borne's interior.

This view is looking foreward to the bow from the galley. I'm sitting on the stairs leading to the cockpit. You can see the two settees that double as beds, and our table is folded down, but not all the way out. The other leaf folds up to make a really big table.

This is our bathroom. Don't mind the coffee maker, thats temporary. :)

Here is the galley.

This is our bedroom. As you can see we have a nice large, and rather comfy bed. Henry's cabin is smaller, but the bed is the same. We are currently using Henry's bed as our garage right now though until we are all moved in. It's a mess in there!

This is the view from our bedroom (cabin) back to the galley. You can see the nav station on the right just after the closet.

Henry is working very hard on that drawing.

This is the settee just in front of the galley. It's not quite long enough for a tall adult to sleep on, but works great for kids. We keep our canned food and Henry's bedding under and behind the cushions.

Hope these pictures help you to get a sense of how we live on board Wind-Borne. It's not as cramped as you might imagine. It's really a lovely boat!!