Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Might Hate Cleaning...but I LOVE Parties

Saturday morning starts off not much better than Friday morning in the sick department.  But there are things to be done.  We have the hubby's going away/birthday party and the boat is a T-total-wreck!  The morning starts off with both of us working on the inside of the boat.  I have the aft cabin, aft head, salon, and galley.  While hubby takes the V-birth and forward head.  Trust me, I got the good end of this bargain.  See, sometimes the hubby turns the forward head into his "Monica closet", but for the past month the entire V-birth has been his "Monica closet".  And we have a BIG V-birth.

Hubby also had 2 other people's boats to work on, so he headed out about noon.  I busted my rear end until about 2pm and then it was off to the Liquor, Dollar, and Grocery Store.  Those are 3 separate stores, not one really ultra cool store.

After shopping it was back to the boat to finish up and attempt a shower before people started arriving for the party.  I don't know if I could have gotten everything done if it hadn't been for the help of our neighbor Sherry.  She helped me shop, clean, and put out the food!  Mike helped out too.

The party was a huge success.  There were tons of good food, good drink, good times, good friends, good music, and just general goodness all around. A couple of the guys broke out the guitars and played for awhile.  Somehow I only managed 2 drinks the entire night......  Must have been because I was pushing thru the sickness.  Even my 2 best friends from college stopped by to see the boat, say happy birthday, and wish us well.  Their son only stuck one thing in his mouth he wasn't supposed to.  I was pretty impressed.....and intrigued to notice that old rotten wood will cause a child to foam at the mouth.


Another great part of the evening was when Ted gave hubby his going away gift.

I did make the yummiest drinks though!  I found some chocolate martini mix in the store, mixed it with whipped cream vodka, and topped it with alcohol infused caramel whipped cream.  Unfortunately I didn't get to have one, but the people that did RAVED about them.

Since it wasn't the hubby's bday until Sunday, I made him wait until past midnight to open his present.  He was very happy with his new Kindle Fire and matching leather case.  I knew he would be.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One After Another

Chores and boat projects that is.  With the departure day getting closer things were beyond crazy this weekend.  Making things even a tad more challenging was that the hubby had been sick since the last weekend and Friday morning I woke up sick.  We're considering buying stock in Sudafed, Vitamin C, and Benadryl.

My lovely work was nice enough to give us an early start (1/2 day) to the Memorial Day weekend.  So it was off work and to the house in Tomball to finish grabbing my cruising clothes and Kirby Vacuum.  Then driving the hour and 1/2 south to Kemah, where my handsome hubby was meeting me with a truck bed full from storage.  I was very proud of my hubby, aka "The Packrat", who threw away 2 dock carts piled high of stuff.  There were a few moments of "Honey, you know that isn't going to fit on the boat."  But overall it was a successful dumpster filling afternoon/evening, and we did let him keep a few sentimental items (that will be packed away in storage).

We had originally planned to have a little night out on the town with steaks and dancing.  But decided we would rather have dinner with our friends on Barefoot Babe, Captain Jim and Elaine.  I don't think that chili cheese dogs have ever been better!  And of course we had a few Barefoot Babes to go along with dinner (Jim and Elaine's signature boat drink).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The (tex) Joys of Life

We had quite possibly the greatest find on the free table at the marina last weekend.  I don't know if everyone else realized this, but it's very true.  

The hubby and I were walking towards the free table and saw the back of a seasoning bottle.  We both stopped as I shouted "Is that TexJoy?" and then the hubby jogged towards the table and picked up the bottle, turned it around and shouted "Score!".

Not many people know what TexJoy Steak Seasoning is, but it's by far and above the best Steak Seasoning in the entire galaxy.  Yep, I said galaxy.  My parents were both raised near Beaumont, TX and that's were this lil gem of a Steak Seasoning is made.  When I was younger you could only get it near Beaumont, then they started carrying it in Academy and a few other stores like that.  Woohoo, yay, that was awesome!  Then they stopped :(  I have spent hours going from store to store trying to find a bottle of this with no luck.  So finding some on the free table was like winning the mini lottery.  

Now don't think it's only good on steaks.  It's yummy on hamburgers too.  But possibly the thing it's best on is Javelina Hog Jerky.  So do yourself a favor and if you find some of this stuff grab it and run!!!  Then go cook the most delicious steak you've ever tasted.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Counter Tops Too

This weekend while I finished up the upholstery, the hubby replaced the counter tops on the boat. New counters are quite a large job; ripping off the old counters, taking out the sink (for me to remove the caulking off the bottom of), cutting the material to fit, applying the adhesive, applying new tops, and trimming them to fit.  You can imagine how long this took.  But two days later and the old outdated tops were gone and replaced with a pattern we picked out from home depot back around January.

**Galley after ripping up old stuff

**Engine cover with old top

**Engine cover with top ripped off

**Galley after laying down original sheet

**Galley after putting sink back in

** Top to refrigeration

**Engine cover redone

Monday, May 21, 2012

No Longer in the 1970's

From the first time we laid eyes on Jus'CrewZen the upholstery has driven me crazy.  It has vexed me, teased me, irritated me, and I'm fairly sure laughed at me behind my back.  Some people may enjoy their fabric in a lovely vintage blue and avocado green mix, not this princess.

Even the backsides of the backrests were pretty atrocious

I started working on the cushions over a week ago, and finished up with the backrests this weekend.  I have to admit that I cheated.  Yep, I'm a big fat cheater.  I took an old sectional from the house that I'm trying to sell and cut it up and used it for parts.  Well cushions and fabric.  The cushion part was pretty easy.  A little trimming of foam here, a couple of snaps added there and viola - new settee cushions.

But the backrests were a different story.  I had to rip off two layers of fabric, about 70 staples a piece and then pry off the very old and brittle fabric.  BUT it was worth it.  Even if they took about 2 hours each.

And here is the final product, throw pillows and all.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

One of My Favorite Things

With all of the boat projects and errands we haven't gotten to do one of my Favorite things in a few weeks, which is take the boat out and sit on the aft deck. (Bet you thought one of my favorite things was my new bikini top ;)  Today is no different.  The hubby is still on his delivery.  I worked all day and even used my lunch to run a boat errand.  Now I'm taking a few minutes to blog before finishing up the new upholstery.  We're past the easy part, so I'm assuming that this evening will be quite interesting.  Pictures will be coming. 

The original boat interior was 1977 avocado green and blue, we've decided to go with a chocolate brown microfiber for the cushions and a soft boat leather in a darker chocolate for the back rests.  The 1977 matching pillows were tossed in the garbage today, with much glee and celebration, and the new pillows are awaiting placement. 

But alas with all these projects going on I've missed getting out on the water, well out of the marina b/c technically we're still on the water.  The pictures above were taken a few weeks ago when we took our friend John and a friend of his out.  We anchored and swam, then sat and relaxed a bit, soaking in the warmth of the day.  Our new swim ladder got tried out and seemed to work decently, but we did decide it needed a better spot to be secured. 

That day was a perfect example of how the wind can be quite persnickety at times.  As we were getting ready to leave we decided to sail back into the channel.  As soon as our sails were up the wind died down, sometimes even reading 0.0 kts on the chart plotter.  After fiddling around and losing patience we turned on the engine and motored home. 

The minute we got into the marina and tried to get into our slip the winds started gusting 20 kts.  I laughed and disowned my hubby for a few minutes b/c he actually missed our slip and had to try it again.  You might not find this very odd, but since the day I met my husband he has NEVER missed the slip.  He backs in it perfect every time.  I did some serious picking and even said "Who are you and what did you do with my husband?"

Looking at these pictures makes me wish we could just hurry up and get out there and start our adventure!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Moment for a Glass of Wine

Things have been hectic lately.  We've been preparing for a very big change in our lives and let's just say that boat projects have taken over our free time even more than usual.  The hubby has been out on a delivery from Florida to Texas, so I've been running around like a madwoman all week (and missing him like crazy in the process).  I have a to-do list, but it seems like every time I mark something off I add 2 things to it.  So I'm imagining the next 1-2 weeks to continue to be insane because that's all we have.....1-2 weeks. 

I don't know if I'm ready to announce the big change yet, but I find myself sitting on the aft deck, enjoying a glass of wine in one of my new Stainless Steel Wine Goblets from West Marine (a present from the hubby, he spoils me if you can't tell), writing this blog, looking around at the water, the people walking up and down the docks, the boats coming in from and evening sail, and things are feeling bittersweet. 

Change is like that though.....  New, exciting, better things are coming and you get caught up in the whirlwind of it all.  You make lists, you prepare, you almost shake from the anticipation of it all sometimes.  But every now and then, when the world is quiet and your soul is still, you look around you with a fond sadness that this book is coming to an end.

Oh there is another book coming, and it plans to be even better than the first, just like how college was better than High School.  And we will say goodbye to this book and tuck it safely away to remember. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Is That Smell?

Anyone who lives on a boat, knows that this is one of the most common questions you'll hear.  Another one is "where is that water coming from", but we'll get to that one later. 

When we got our boat the bilge smell was horrible, and I don't mean "musty old boat" smell bad.  I mean "reach up and smack you" bilge smell.  Through a variety of techniques and products, we've eliminated 95% of our bilge smell. 

1) Spray bottle - It takes longer, but whatever I'm "dumping" in the bilge to clean it, I always put in in a spray bottle (and refill several times) and spray the solution into the bilge so that it touches as many surfaces on it's way down as possible. 

2) Vinegar - If you didn't know Vinegar is all natural and non toxic, and a wonderful cleaner.  If you're not quite sure go check it out here

3) Orange Bilge Cleaner - Yep, the trusty stuff from West Marine

4) Bilge pump/hose/bucket/oil soaker tubes - This is the most tricky and by far the grossest, but it works wonders when cleaning out a bilge that hasn't cleaned in YEARS and you don't want to just dump the stuff out in the marina. 

I make it a point to do a bilge clean at least a month.  It may be something as simple as putting a gallon of vinegar into the bilge (by use of a spray bottle), turning off the bilge for a few hours and letting things slosh around down there, then turning it back on while we sail home.  But I've found that being constantly vigilant can make a world of difference. I've considered getting a bilge brush, but haven't had anyone who has actually used one. 

Up top you notice I said 95% of the smell.  That's because it'll be one rainy night you're down below cuddling with your sweetie, when all of a sudden the air passes by and you both go "What's that SMELL?"  You laugh, grab the spray bottle, and go off in search of the smell.  (Last month's culprit was the side of the bilge that isn't very easily accessible except by entering in through the liquor locker, removing everything, and taking up the bottom.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Contrary to Popular Opinion

Cats do not like baths. I know, I have probably crushed a few people's idea about what is true and right in the world. You may be experiencing a moment like you did when you found out Santa Claus wasn't real. did know that, didn't you?

Bella was in dire need of a bath this weekend. She had been unfortunate enough to land herself in the vet's office with 15 bladder stones (1 that was 1/2 a centimeter wide). Poor thing has already been through a PU and unfortunately they were too large to remove via catheter. So they had to open up her bladder through her abdominal wall. This was several weeks ago and she finally reached the point where I could clean up all of the ick that had collected on her long Persian fur during her vet stay.  

Now I'm pretty lucky, I've worked very hard during Bella's life to make her as desensitive as possible to unpleasant tasks like baths. So it is easier than bathing most cats, but she looked very unhappy during the whole ordeal. In fact she looks extra unhappy because she got a haircut about an hour before this.  But don't worry, we snuggled a few hours afterwards and she was a happy kitty before too long. 

Also, sorry for being absent this past week but I've been waiting on my new PINK computer to arrive.  I picked her up this afternoon (still haven't named her yet), and this is my first blog on her.

Heehee, then I felt the need to start grouping my Princess accessories together.  The boat is getting pretty PINK pretty fast :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pink for the Princess

My dear friend, my lil trooper, my partner in crime, my Toshiba laptop has finally passed on. We are very sad, but look forward to welcoming the newest member of the family to the blog - a PINK Dell mini. My Toshiba did get to spend some time with my lil brother this weekend
I had to hide my phone after this photo. He threatened to delete it....not sure why

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Or Sperrys to be exact.  I've had my eye on a pair of leopard print flip flops for a while now and was told that tonight I could pick out one "extra" from West Marine and those were it.  It was love at first wear <3

Tonight was the grand opening charity event for the new expansion of the West Marine store on Marina Bay Dr and we headed over with a couple of friends from the Boardwalk.  And can I say, that I have never been happier for a person to guilt my hubby into buying raffle tickets b/c we walked away with a 70 Qt Yukon Ice Chest (which is Igloo's version of the Yeti)?  Funny thing was that originally I picked out one of the nice Captain's chairs until we realized that the Yukon was part of the raffle table.  Yeah..... we traded the Captain's chair for the Yukon (if you would have seen the price difference, you would have too).  

I also got to meet Bob Bitchin from Latitudes & Attitudes and took my picture with him.  His wife Jody

Outriggers did the catering and their crab dip was so yummy.  I think we'll be stopping by there soon to have a lil' more.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Paddleboard Princess

Paddleboarding is a lot harder than I expected.  Although I'm not quite sure what I expected.  I have a inflatable paddleboard and it's much sturdier than I expected, harder to tip over than I expected, but harder to maintain my balance than expected.  I realize that makes no sense, but it's just how it is.

The first night I tried I think I stayed up about 15 seconds before almost falling in and resorting to paddleing around on my knees the rest of the night. 

**this is my hubby being "funny" by  catching me as I almost fell

I realized fairly quickly that I didn't understand exactly how paddleing worked and that trying to figure that out while figuring out my balance was a tad too much for the first night.  The next time we took her out was out in Clear Lake.  It doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but the BEAST was running around and kicking up quite the stir.  We figured the best way for me to practice was to tether me onto the back of the boat (we were anchored in case you were worried **whew**)  and let me try to just stand.  I was doing really good.  Ok, so I looked like complete and total CRUD but I did a really good job.  I only fell in once when I tried to paddle towards the boat and my hubby shouting words of encouragement Yeah right, the shouts were more like "honey look out for the shark". 

**me not looking so great yet, and I'm standing on it backwards b/c of it being tethered to the boat.

I didn't realize how much this helped until the next time I attempted the board back in our marina.  I did the chicken on my knees thing first, but slowly worked up to my feet (after a glass of wine no less) and didn't fall off.  This weekend I went boarding on two different days and never fell off.  I'm still figuring out how to work the paddle, and what to do when the wind is pushing me in directions I do not want to go.  But I really am enjoying it.  In the marina my hubby's shouts of encouragement are slightly varied "honey look out for the aligators".  Darn him, he knows I've personally seen the aligators in the marinas around here.

It's quite the workout.  When I'm standing out I really notice it in my calves, but when I'm on my knees my thighs and butt get soooooo sore.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Saying Goodbye for the First Time

We had our 2nd going away party/cast off for friends in the month of April.  There's something very uplifting about watching someone's dreams become a reality in a culmination of events that lead to a grand climax. 

s/v It's Perfect was my first cast off to attend EVER...  And yes, before you ask, I got a little teary eyed.  So many of their friends & family were there to support them.  Their blog contains many more (and better pictures) but I managed to take a few.  There were mimosas and the ceremonial line cutting.  Rod had a special blade and line for the affair.  I wasn't the only teary eyed well wisher there, everywhere you looked there was an eye sparkling a little more than normal.  The first time we met Rod and Linda she showed us around down below.  I remember thinking  OMG I love this interior (I have a thing for rich wood tones and dark red).  She immediately says "Yeah, we know it kinda looks like a bordello, but we like it".  LOL



Dauphin and Jody's going away party was just this weekend.  No pictures, but there was some amazing food....and wine, and a special drink named after our friends on s/v Barefoot Babe called a "Barefoot Babe".  I made baked beans topped with bacon and was suprised when I had to inform my hubby that baked beans had ground meat in them.  he dared to suggest I just buy a couple cans of Bush's Baked Beans and top them with some bacon.  Pfffftttttttt   real baked beans consist of a can of Baked Beans, a can of Pork n Beans, mustard, brown sugar, maple syrup, a touch of ketchup, some various seasonings and topped with bacon.  They are normally mixed and then baked for 30-45 minutes but I had to make due and heat them on top of the stove while underway. 

Oh yeah, it was my first time cooking under way!!!  Ok, we were only going from one marina to another.  But it still counts.  I said so ;)

The going away party was wonderful and I got to chat with Jody about the finer aspects of Paddleboarding (since she was the first person I ever saw on one).  And notice to all those out there - you cannot paddle into a good wind.  You can try, you can open up your can of man....but it's just not happening. 
I was a little upset our boat cards were not in yet.  There were so many new friends to meet, and we all know in the cruising community you make friends fast.  FYI when ordering from VistaPrint use your credit/debit card vs paying through Paypal.  They have not signed up for Paypals automatic transfer yet, so they wait for Paypal to send them an actual paper check before starting your order.  I'm very sad about this, but it's really no one's fault but my own, so I won't pout (much) about it.

I promised Attila on Bettie del Mar a few pictures of me on the Paddleboard, but they are going to have to wait until tomorrow.  Sorry!!!