Monday, March 31, 2008

The End of the Season

The title sounds like some socialite affair. Well I am anything but a socialite, but I am social, just not lite, and they (the socialites) never invite me to their shindigs..but we had our own going on.. We pulled Gulleywhumper II out for the season. Nothing like sitting in one place having all kinds of things attaching to her bottom.. We could have someone dive her once a month, but really, she is small enough that we can bring her out and that helps prolong the life of the hull too. So pulling her out is really not a big deal. But never having witnessed something like this before - it was pretty interesting , in a low key kind of way...It did allow us to see our one boo boo of the entire season. On our last sail, it was getting late and had taken us twice as long to get back as to go out, such is the nature of sailing. Anyway - we were getting close, we could see the channel markers and we thought, shoot we only need 3.5' of water, surely we could come into the channel a bit short, basically meaning cut across and enter the channel a couple of markers in from the end of the channel. It would save us a bit of time. Well there are evidently 3 kinds of sailors: those who have run aground, those who will and those who lie about not running aground. We are now part of the run aground club. It is super shallow around here, they call it skinny water. Thus why we have a 2.5 mile channel.. luckily when we hit the obstruction (aka ROCK) we skimmed over it and didn't hurt anything too drastic, but in put an ugly gash in her concrete keel which we will put a layer of fiberglass over the area that took the direct hit. Cap'n Steve knew right away what had happened. Was very cool about the whole thing and immediately turned us around and we headed out to the end of the channel markers and came in through the channel. Taught us a lesson for sure, can't skimp on the channel, even with high tide. Luckily nothing more serious didn't happen to us.. because we are just day sailing we don't have a radio or depth finder on board. We are looking at purchasing a portable GPS - but basically we just carry the cell phone with us. We see the tow boats going out and they bring in boats, mainly power boats.. I am sure glad we didn't have a more serious situation. And luckily Cap'n Steve was at the calm and collected while I am sweatin' bullets..

Our Old Dog(s)

We're going through some difficult times with our dogs these past few years. They have aged and are passing on leaving us with fond memories and holes in our hearts. When the animals come into our home, it's never with the thought that they will exit in somewhat the same succession as they came in, but they do. First it was Tucker, the best dog in the world, who left us at age 16, close to 4 years ago, then Bogey, who at 16 departed (after hanging on to three and 1/2 legs for 3 years).. gosh it's been 15 months now. The remaining dogs, Lass, the camera shy BC is 15 or 16 - I can never remember exactly unless I look at her papers, and Mattie - who is now 11. Lass pretty much spends all day sleeping now. She's an "under" dog - prefers to sleep under things if she can. The sign of a true old dog is sleeping all the time. She still loves her dinner and her treats of which we now freely give her. When we first came to Florida, for the winter,4 years ago, she would easily walk a couple of miles every Sunday with us to get the Sunday paper. Now she barely walks the shortened walks we call poop and pee.. The winters down here have been a godsend for her. We are convinced it has prolonged her life along with arthritis drugs. The vets all gush what great shape she is in for an old dog, but we see a marked deterioration this season. Lass, Kiki and Squeek are getting ready for the journey back up to the cabin on Saturday. Cap'n Steve left this past Saturday with Mattie and Mo. It's getting tougher for her to ride in the car the 9+ hour trip. I hate this part.The deterioration. I love these animals so much. I can take comfort that we provide a loving home for them and can afford luxuries like top notch vet care and winter homes, but the human I am, I want the things I can't give them, unlimited time with good health.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baseball in the Rain

Well it's a suprise that the Braves and the Phillies got their spring training game in.. My dad and I thought we would mix it up a bit this year and I got tickets for here in Clearwater (Phillies spring training home)- it was a very wet day.. built for water foul (pun intended!) - daddy and I had fab seats - go figure.. I left both cameras in the car - but he brought his - so I shot a few.. and he shot a couple of me... Daddy is trying his halloween costume for next year - a vision in orange, don't ya know..

I am modeling my new extravagant purchase - A tilley hat - those who know me and know I love to shop the thrift stores, you will be surprised I forked over the buckaroos for this lovely piece of head wear. I did it for sailing and because I do love to wear a hat and ball caps just don't have the allure to me they once did. For those who don't know about Tilley's - they were originally designed by some guy for sailing - they float, they are fitted to your head, they are washable, crushable and come with a guarantee.. these hats are 'da bomb... I know I can't believe I paid this for a hat - but it will be worn a lot - from mowing at the cabin to sailing in the Gulf.. and everything in between..

Oh yeah - this is a post about baseball in the rain.. here are a few shots...These were taken with my Dad's Canon S2IS - nice little camera except can't go more than 400 on the ISO (at least that I could figure out) Shot on manual -
I post processed this shot - I really like it - I think it looks like a classic old style baseball picture.. Baseball really is timeless. When you look at the photographs - pros or kids - they could be just about from any year - sometimes the crowd shots look a bit dated - but only slightly - as a background - they don't change. Wood Bats, Baseball stands - the game - a nice constant in a world that prides itself on moving all of the time...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fun With My Pics

Ok - you probably don't hang in facebook or myspace - which is where I think this app is getting popular - but if you like to have fun with your pics - check out animoto...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Food Weakness - In Search Of...

This post was originally written about a month ago - but slacker me is just now getting around to publishing it .. I guess I am not cut out to be a daily or even a weekly blogger...

I've been searching my whole adult life for it.. I think I have found it.. at least as close as I am ever going to relive the pleasure I had so many years ago as a child. It has the power to transport me back in time, to when I was young (6-10 yo) and with my maternal grandparents in Gulfport, Mississippi. I remember going crabbing with my grandmother, playing in wonder on my grandfather's shrimp boat, eating catheads and buttermilk for breakfast, drinking coffee with lots of milk, picking rockychaws (those little prickly stickers found around sand) out of my feat as I crossed over the highway to get to the beach. Have I piqued your interest? Do you have something that is your own little time machine? Think about it. What is it... Is it a smell? Is it a picture? Is it a piece of clothing? Okay - for me, it's My Grandmother's Gumbo. I search every restaurant's menu for the offering, trying it and being dissapointed. But I believe I have found it, in none other than my "back yard" so to speak. My dear friend Debra, who originally hails from Shreveport, and is a fabulous cook, makes THE best gumbo since my grandmother's. While visiting her last weekend we went to a Gumbo cook off so she could scout out the competition, as she was thinking about entering one of these competitions. They have Chili cook offs, Bar-b-q cookoffs and on the Gulf Coast, it's GUMBO... I was in heaven.. or at least I thought I was... some of the so called GUMBO's in that competition had no resemblance to what I grew up loving. Not only was it fun to try about 15 different Gumbos, many of the competitors decked themselves out in "Themes",, which I know Debra was eyeing because she love's herself a good dress up opportunity...The experience was fun, and the gals that won were low on style but big on taste and personality. They were similar in style to Debra's gumbo, but their rue tasted a bit chalky...I believe Debra will enter one soon and I plan on being there to help cheer her on... Maybe the secret ingredient in Gumbo is something I provide. Could it be love? The love I had for my grandmother and the love I have for a dear friend...Some pics of the contestants..