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29 July 2016

Downsizing, Cherished Items & Quirky Polar Bears

I'm a sucker for a blog hop. They're a great way for introverts like me to get social and meet new people without worrying about what hostess gift to bring, what to wear and the agonies of small talk. When I read about the Cherished Blogfest, I was excited - new people to meet while wearing my PJs and sitting behind my computer. Plus, I was really intrigued by the topic - sharing the story of something you cherish.

For those of you who haven't been here before, there's one important fact you should know. I live in a tiny floating home, a 34' sailboat called Tickety Boo, with less than 300 sq ft of living space.

When you live on a sailboat, the majority of the things you own are devoted to operating your boat, keeping you safe and meeting your basic needs (like sleeping, eating and personal hygiene). There's not a lot of room for stuff with no practical purpose.

As I sat in the living quarters of our boat looking around me, I didn't see anything that I cherished. I saw a fire extinguisher, a VHF radio, an air horn and some groceries I hadn't put away yet. All important things, but I don't cherish them.

Then I went into our sleeping quarters to look for cherished items. Nope. Just clothes, towels and storage cubbies full of canned goods and wine. Don't get me wrong, I like wine and canned tomatoes, but I don't cherish them. If there was a bar of dark chocolate squirreled away in there, that might be a different matter. Sadly, there wasn't.

I didn't even bother going in the v-berth to look for cherished items. There's a lot of stuff crammed in there, but more of the dull and practical variety. And the bathroom, well, it's just your typical bathroom, except much smaller, with a marine toilet and no working shower. Okay, maybe not so typical.

I sat back down in the living quarters and sighed. Was there nothing that I cherished on our boat? Is this what happens when you downsize and don't have room for fun yet impractical stuff?

Then I spied my quirky polar bears sitting on a shelf above our chart table. At last, something cherishable which serves no useful purpose. Better yet - they're small and unbreakable.

Aren't they cute?

My nieces gave these to me, which is one of the reasons why I cherish them. When I was visiting them a few years ago, we had a lot of fun doing a polar bear defense system photo shoot. They've since beomce teenagers and would likely disdain the whole idea of playing with polar bears now.

If you're going to sail in Alaska, you have to be prepared to defend yourself against polar bears.

On the other hand, I'm happy to be utterly goofy, have fun and do photo shoots on our travels with my polar bears. They remind me that growing up is really overrated. All the more reason to cherish my little polar bears.

Polar bears at Death Valley National Park

Polar bears in Key West

Polar bears at Zion National Park

What items do you cherish in your life and why?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

Check out what other things people cherish at the Cherished Blogfest.

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52 comments:

  1. Those poor polar bears have been to some very hot places! Totally cute.

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    1. I know - they're always complaining about the heat :-)

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  2. Downsizing and decluttering are hard sometimes. I cherish 3 little pigs. They are nothing special at all except that they were part of my Mum's pig collection. When she died I had to desire to keep the collection, partly because I had nowhere to house it and also because it was not my thing! But those 3 little pigs, (the biggest is about the size of a walnut) were easy to find homes for. Two are on my mantelpiece and one travels with me in my handbag.

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    1. I love that you keep one in your handbag. Makes me feel better about taking the polar bears in my backpack out for photo shoots :-)

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  3. Those are some well-traveled polar bears. You could have a lot of fun with polar bear shoots around the world.

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    1. It's a good thing they like to travel and love to mug for the camera.

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  4. Cute! Are the polar bears Tickety Boo's mascot?

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    1. There's no way they would stoop to the level of being a mascot. They think that sort of thing is for lesser beings like teddy bears :-)

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  5. On the boat I can only think of one cherished item. That's a stuffed koala that my blogging buddy that lives in Australia sent me. It's our mascot on the boat. When we cruise in to another yacht club she proudly sits in her spot for the world to see.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. How fun that you had a blogging buddy send you a gift - pretty cool!

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  6. I love your traveling companions! Mine is a black-and-white plastic cow. I don't cherish her, though. She's kind of sarcastic.

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  7. Those polar bears are getting around! Great pictures.

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  8. I like your polar bears, and I bet they enjoy their travels with you.

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    1. They love to travel and get out and see the sights.

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  9. Cute! Besides, with all the hot weather we've been having lately, a little polar-bear weather would be a welcome change. Nice post!

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    1. I know - what I wouldn't give to be complaining about how cold I am and how many pairs of socks I have to wear to keep my feet warm.

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  10. My favorite Cherished Blog so far. I have often wondered what it would be like to live on a boat. How did you sail it to Death Valley? LOL

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    1. Thanks Fran! It was tricky sailing our boat in Death Valley due to the lack of water :-)

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  11. Thank you for visiting my blog. I love the idea of a Polar Bear defense system. But, alas, with global warming, it may melt away into a puddle before too long. From one introvert to another.

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    1. Sadly, that is so true that the polar bear's home may melt away one day :-(

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  12. Your polar bears are great! That's a really wonderful idea, and very unique!

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  13. I love this! I'm Kate, one of the hosts, and I have artists friends (2) who have teeny bears that travel in their teeny paint bag. (Paint bags are small like boats and heavy, so teeny bears are the thing.) Some day your nieces will cherish the photos of the bears you guys took.... Nice! Thanks for playing with us -- maybe see you next year? (I've yet to post my blog on Cherished!)

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    1. Thanks for popping by. It's a fun blog hop. Looking forward to checking out your blog post once it's live!

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  14. These are perfect cherished items for where you live: small, portable, filled with joy. No wonder you chose then to share to day.

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head as to why they're so perfect - small, portable and full of joy.

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  15. Your polar bears are adorable! I love how you take the time to set them up in little photo shoots. So cute! Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. My husband is a very patient man putting up with these photo shoots and taking pictures of them.

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  16. I'm really amazed at the way you have clicked pictures of those polar bears. Absolutely brilliant. I loved the way you have written this post. Absolutely heart-touching. As a co-host I thank you for sharing your story in the Cherished Blogfest.

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    1. Thanks for popping by Sharukh and for hosting the blogfest. It's been a fun way to discover new bloggers :-)

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  17. I had the same problem as you did. Looking around the boat, I didn't see much beyond the practical things. I love our dinghy. We've been together 14 years and it's really been there for me whenever I needed it. I love my kayak. It takes me into the shallowest of water to explore and discover. But I don't cherish either one of them. And then I looked down on my left hand, saw my wedding band, and knew the answer.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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  18. You certainly lead an interesting life! I can't imagine being confined to such a small space but the travel opportunities are wonderful. What fun to take your polar bears along. They are so cute! ☺

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    1. I don't know that it's all that interesting, just probably different than most :-) Although it is a small floating house, the trade-off between small space and travel is worth it.

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  19. Downsizing and de-cluttering can be really hard! But staying on a boat - that is amazeballs!! Lucky lucky you!!

    Cheers!
    Modern Gypsy

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    1. Thanks! We do feel very lucky to be able to live this life.

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  20. Wow! First things first, I am super impressed that you live in a boat. I want to know more about that.
    Then coming to your polar bears - they are cute and those pictures are gorgeous. Loved them. Well done for the blogfest. I know what you mean about sitting back and getting a sneak peak into homes and other people's world.

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    1. I wish I could take credit for the polar bear pics, but it's my hubby that does most of the photography :-)

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  21. Your polar bears are amazing and I love your photoshoot, Ellen! So intriguing that you live on a sailboat. Must be quite challenging. I am in the process of downsizing at home but doubt if I'll ever get anywhere close to what you've done. Oh yes, blogfests rock and visiting people in your PJs? Totally cool. Let's enjoy a virtual coffee someday, together! So glad to connect with you!

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    1. Living on a sailboat definitely has it's challenges, that's for sure. Thanks so much for popping by - great to connect with you as well :-)

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  22. Oooh. Those polar bears are awesomely cool! They are the cutest, sweetest things and you can take them everywhere. Cherished and precious. If it wasn't for my diary, I would have a hard time picking something as well!

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    1. That's what I love about them - they're so portable and easy to store on the boat.

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  23. Aw, the polar bears are so cute! Thanks for sharing.

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  24. They are cute, they go places a live polar bear wouldn't dare.

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    1. They can certainly stand much higher temperatures than real polar bears :-)

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  25. I love your polar bears, I wish I would have thought of that. Back when the only boat I owned was a kayak, and before blogging was a thing, I had "Kayak Joe, and Camper Jane". They are small bendy type figures that went along on adventures, and I took photos of them doing "stuff". I had intended to make a comic book out of their exploits. Now they haven't been out for a photo-op in quite some time, but I see that I must get to it. Watch for future fun with Joe and Jane, coming to a blog post near you. :-)

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    1. I'm looking forward to a Joe and Jane post!!

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  26. The bears are awesome and apparently, very well-traveled. You've got a lot to be grateful for! :-)

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    1. That's so true - I do have a lot to be grateful. I've been very fortunate in my life.

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