Farewell Voyage of the S.S. No Name

It’s been quite a productive weekend so far!

With sunshine and temperatures in the 60s, Tara’s been busy in the garden. First, she built a row cover for her raised beds. This is to protect them from the cold. We’ve probably seen our last freezing temperature of the season, but they’re forecasting lows in the mid-30s later this week. Be that as it may, it was time to get her plants in the ground. Clearly, they were taking up valuable table space.

Naturally, Sydney had to check things out.

She gave her approval (and fortunately didn’t use the beds as a litter box), so we were golden. Tara was finally able to get all her tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, snap peas, pumpkins, tomatillos, and probably half a dozen other things I’m forgetting into the dirt. She also assembled ladder trellises and a two-stage compost bin using lumber and chicken wire. In case you hadn’t guessed, Tara is quite the gardener. My participation is limited to consuming what comes out of the garden.

Our next order of business was selling the S.S. No Name.

You might recall that Tara’s dad generously gave us a boat back in 2020. You might not be aware that we took the boat out only one time. While it was a nice gesture on my FIL’s part, we quickly learned that kayaks are more our speed. Boats are great fun, but they’re expensive and difficult to store, and when you live on a hill, it’s very tricky to attach them to your hitch. We offered to give Randy the boat back, but he told us to go ahead and sell it and to use the money to “party.”

My dad-in-law’s a pretty cool guy.

We’ve had the boat in an RV storage lot since October. I finally decided to put it up for sale on Thursday, and literally within minutes of posting it to Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, I had people interested. At least a dozen. One guy was even willing to drive all the way down from Billings, Montana — and that’s a five-hour trip each way. Suffice it to say, I was beginning to think we’d underpriced the boat. I debated inviting everybody interested to come out and take a look, envisioning a bidding war…but that just seemed like too much hassle. So, I basically reached out to people in the order they contacted me.

We met the first guy Saturday morning at 8 a.m. He was wishy-washy, tried to lowball us, and wanted to take the boat home for a few days. He ended up passing. Guy #2 met us there a few hours later. Looked the boat over for a few minutes, said we’d have no trouble selling it, but ultimately passed. At this point my confidence in selling the boat quickly started to wane, but the third time proved to be the charm. Guy #3 arrived mid-afternoon and was gung-ho from the start. Pulled out a wad of hundreds and paid us $5,000 in cash. Holy cow. He was quite the character, too, constantly cracking jokes and regaling us with stories. He even hugged us after completing the transaction. A little odd perhaps, but he took our boat and we took his money, so that’s all that matters. As tempting as it is to use that money to “party,” as Randy suggested, it’s going into savings instead.

Today, I decided to bust out my new smoker for the first time.

Now, I’m a complete novice when it comes to smoking meat, so I was a little nervous getting started. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos before plunging in. Got my lump charcoal going in the chimney starter, assembled the grill, filled the water pan, put a nice pork shoulder roast on (I figured that would be a pretty forgiving cut of meat, and cheaper than a brisket in case things don’t work out), and by 8:45 a.m. dinner was cooking.

Smoking is an all-day process. The trick is to constantly adjust the vents so you maintain a temperature of 225-250º, occasionally adding more charcoal, wood, and water. There isn’t a lot to do, per se, other than sit around the backyard and keep an eye on things.

Me sitting around keeping an eye on things.

Music? Check. Books and magazines? Check. Bloody Mary? Check.

Hey, it’s dirty work, but somebody’s gotta do it.

The roast should be done sometime between 4:30 and 8:00. I have no idea what to expect, this being my virgin smoking experience and all, but I promise you this: once it’s done, you can bet your ass I’ll be ringing that dinner bell.

40 thoughts on “Farewell Voyage of the S.S. No Name

  1. That first character that looked at the boat reminds me of one of the people who came to look at my parents’ house when they were selling. Total lowball offer, and would they take it off the market for a few months and accept a coupon as an offer to hold the deal? (Uh. No. Thank you. Good luck with your search elsewhere.) Glad you found a buyer who sounds like they’ll love the SS No Name! (Maybe even enough to name her)) 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing is, the guy who bought it doesn’t even care about the 75 HP Yamaha motor or 6 HP kicker motor. He’s just going to use the trolling motor in front. I’m glad that alone was worth 5 grand to him!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, it’s a straw! I wondered and about the wine in with the plants. I haven’t even done my annuals yet. It keeps raining so it’s not motivating to get out there in the yard. Perhaps I need one of those umbrella hats? That’s a nice looking boat and perfect size but I know from experience what a hassle and money pit they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An ecologically correct straw as Writer of Words pointed out! Which just proves it IS possible to enjoy a Bloody Mary while simultaneously saving the earth.


  3. If the prevailing winds are just so, and if your dinner bell is as loud as you say it is, I may just be able to hear you ringing it. I’ll hop in my car and be there in, what, eight hours? You can keep it hot for me, yes?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish Roger would sell his boat. We have owned this boat for four years and I can count on one hand how much he has used it. Let us know how your 1st dinner bell goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hooray for the dinner bell! Unless your neighbors assume that’s an invitation for them too. I love when the right person comes along to buy something. I’ve been in a similar situation. The guy who bought our old fridge was very enthusiastic. That made me feel like we’d kept it for the right person.
    Hope the meat turns out well. Done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, no, no. We do not want well done meat!

      I was most surprised by how popular Facebook Marketplace is. That was my first time using it. Apparently it’s where all the cool kids go go buy things these days.

      Having said that, the guy we sold it to found it on Craigslist…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I applaud Tara’s commitment to gardening. Putting down her wineglass long enough to plant shows amazing fortitude.
    Congrats on the boat sale. I love when strangers pay money to haul away things we no longer want.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Those are pretty babied plants to have Chardonnay fertilizer. Hopefully, they’ll grow in a spirited way.

    Welcome to the world of barbequing vs grilling. Once you taste that pork shoulder I bet you’ll be saying, “I think we’ll use this more than once!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Middle Child and husband start seeds indoors on our living room floor because it gets afternoon sun (and we rarely use the room). They don’t put in ground till June 1st. Great news on the boat! I expected people to not show, so #3 buying was very nice. My husband has a similar smoker, but finds it hard to do more than twice a year because you have to be home all day and baby it. So, he always does multiple meats: ribs, brisket, turkey breast and pulled pork. We freeze most of it to enjoy year round. It’s FABULOUS! I’m sure you guys will love it! His trick is to occasionally spray the meat with diluted apple cider/apple juice or apple cider vinegar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tips. This smoker does have two racks, so I could easily do multiple things at once. And we have a good-sized freezer, too. Hmm…what to do next…


  9. Shorts and flip flops and weather in the mid-60’s? You can take the boy out of the Pacific NW but you can’t take the Pacific NW out of the boy!

    Tara’s plants and wine look great too! I sense a great coming together for smoked meat and fresh salad all summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. You’re right! Although honestly, it was a tad chilly with the breeze blowing. But I’m always looking for an opportunity to dress for summer, even if the weather isn’t 100% cooperative.


  10. I bought my husband a stove top smoker. He has never smoked anything…he has asked to to smoke things for him. I’m guessing it’s going out with the fall purge…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oddly no. But he sees certain food things and wants them, but then wants me to do the work…fyi…I don’t really like smoked meats…😆

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m kind of the same way…hence, the Instant Pot and immersion blender and mini food processor/chopper. But I actually DO use those things.


  11. Tara’s Garden is going to be delicious! Think of all the meats you can smoke to accompany the fresh veggies. WIN WIN.
    Your FIL is a very generous man.
    My husband has this remote meat thermometer; he can leave the smoker to go take care of other things and will get notified when the meat is at the correct temp. Or it just shows what the temp is without going outside. Something like that. But then again, you look pretty comfy there waiting.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A Bloody Mary with an eco-appropriate straw? You are winning at life right there.

    Happy to hear that SS No Name will be launching soon (hopefully with a fabulous new name), and what a cool FIL you have there!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like seeing plants ready for the planting beds that surround a glass of chilled wine. That’s a combo made in heaven. I’m glad you sold your boat relatively easily. What’s it like to hold $5,000 in cash in your hand? We talk about getting a smoker, but that’s all it is for us, talk.


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