Sunday, March 3, 2013

Princess Aboard Swag

I finally got my Etsy shop open so I could start selling merchandise for the blog!  Hubby got me a vinyl cutter after Christmas and I've been working slowly but surely towards getting items ready.  The first item is the Princess Aboard Vinyl Decal (in the works is a second decal and a line of different T-shirt and tank tops).  Hopefully you guys like it :)

Dreamsicle or a Dreamy Creamsicle

I haven't shared a drink in a while, so here goes it.

As a kid one of my favorite treats were the orange creamsicles that my mom would buy at the grocery store.  As an adult I still love them.  I'll sneak a box in the cart while grocery shopping and a I love, LOVE I tell you, the Dreamsicle flavored sno cones from the stand by my father's office.

So it comes to no surprise that when i tasted an alcoholic beverage that a friend told me tasted like this dreamy creamy orangey icy dessert from the heavens, I had to share it with y'all.

1-2 parts vodka
2 parts orange juice
1 part heavy cream
**over ice

Now that they've developed all these flavored vodkas and rums, I'm wondering if a whipped cream vodka or rum might make this EVEN better.  I think it may be something I have to try.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


The hubby had made a stop by her while he was down in Florida, and we'd gotten reports from the repairman, but I don't think I quite realized the massive amount of work that needed to be done aboard Jus'CrewZen till I climbed down the companionway about 3 weeks ago.

Overwhelming……  I guess this is one of those situations where it's good I don't get overly emotional (well at least about most things).  But for a split second I looked around and could imagine myself feeling helpless and just crying.  Throwing my arms up in the air, not knowing where to start, and suggesting we just sell her and start over.

But anyone out there who owns a boat, especially those who live on their boat or have lived on their boat know that "that" isn't really an option.  You can't just trade in your kid b/c they rolled around in the mud, got sprayed by a skunk, fell in a bucket of black ink and then ran through your house and sat on your white couch.  I mean, you may contemplate it, but it's not really an option.

Soot was covering every surface and mildew was coming in a close second.  You couldn't sit down or touch anything without getting covered in some sort of black powder.  They had pumped hundreds of gallons of saltwater down into the salon, enough for there to be standing water in the forward and aft cabins before the repairman pumped it out.  (We have a HUGE bilge.)  Somehow when they sprayed the water down it tore our blinds down off the ports in the salon and salt was also covering most surfaces.

The first day I threw away 4 dock carts full of stuff.  All of the carpet was ruined.  That wasn't too big of a blow, the carpet was only down b/c the previous owners had glued down the previous carpet to the teak.  All of the comforters and bed pillows were ruined.  This hit a bit hard.  I know it sounds silly, but do you know how hard it is to find pillows to like?  Or to find that comforter that is the perfect weight for both summer and winter?

Once I threw away the comforters and bed pillows things got easier.  Throwing away all the pillows (except for 2 that had lighthouses on them) on the settees didn't hurt quite so bad.  And by the time I started chunking away all the food behind the settees and in the galley, I was almost gleeful.
The first day consisted of throwing and making sure that our bunk was completely clean.  I used vinegar to wipe (and re-wipe) every surface that surrounded our bunk.  The second day finished wiping down every surface in our cabin.  It took a while, and I even broke out the battery powered vacuum to get into all the corners, but it was worth it.  The third day was scrubbing the floors, and we're familiar with how much I love that.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Winds of Change - Pt 3

Wait?  An RV?  You might be wondering with the RV and the business if we've completely abandoned our dream of cruising.  The answer is no, life just throws you some curveballs sometimes and you have to take it a step at a time.

I personally think the RV is perfect to always have on land for any sort of extended visit back to the states to see family.  And my mother has already hinted that if we get tired of it, or need to get rid of it that her and Dad really like the pictures of it.  I get this odd feeling she may be hoping we tire of it.

Living aboard pretty much makes transitioning into an RV a piece of cake.  You already know about limited storage space and have experience of taking advantage of every square inch possible.  I do feel a bit guilty though, it only took me a month and  a half to get all but 2 of the curtains in the RV replaced (Jus'CrewZen only had the window coverings in the salon replaced).

The RV park is a bit different from the marina though.  Bathrooms and Laundry facilities are the same, but (and maybe b/c it's winter) we haven't noticed as much of the socializing occurring in the park.  One think that I have always loved about "The Boat Life" is that everyone is always talking with each other, swinging by to offer others to come over for a sundowner, and planning pot lucks and get togethers.  We haven't found as much of that at the park, but hope to as it warms up.

DIY Watermakers is growing faster that we every thought possible.  It's truly been hard setting goals b/c every one we think about setting one the company leaps over it.  So we've started planning for a company model that will continue to allow us to grow and still keep cruising a reality.  It may take a little more effort and time getting it all set up, but it'll be worth it in the end.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Winds of Change - Pt 2

So the boat is "safe" with bilge pumped out and the hubby goes into surgery.  I have some very cute pictures of him before surgery in his sexy little hospital gown that I will refrain from posting……..for now.  They gave him 2 nerve blocks in his shoulder before surgery, b/c the first one didn't work.  And after surgery none of the painkillers or muscle relaxers were working either.

One nurse in the recovery room wasn't exactly the nicest and just wanted to get us out of there.  But the other was a godsend and if I every figure out her name she will receive a large bouquet of flowers.  The Dr, anesthesiologist, and head nurse had all come in and said there was nothing they could do.  But the other nurse had the bright idea to ask if she could try giving him phengrine through his IV.  AND IT WORKED!!!  It had him sleeping like a baby within 30 minutes, which FINALLY allowed his shoulder muscles the time to relax.

Phenegrine coupled with lots of juice over the next week provided him more relief than any of the others prescriptions.  With the hubby sleeping that meant that the Princess could finally catch up on some of her beauty sleep too.

The next couple months were filled with healing and more boat shows.  But unfortunately still no getting back down to Jus'CrewZen to survey the damage.  There was Thanksgiving and Christmas thrown in there for good measure too.

We decided that the room to rent was just too small if we were going to be spending any time in Charlotte together, and since DIY Watermakers is headquartered out of Charlotte we figured we would be spending more time there.  So we found ourselves a "cruiser" for the land, or as some people like to call them RVs.

We still own a house in TX, and with our "home" in Miami, it seemed silly to buy anything in Charlotte.  And I have a problem with wastefulness, so an apartment was totally out of the question.  Just like our boat, the RV almost jumped into our laps and was "perfect" for us.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Winds of Change

There's a quote out there right?  About "Life is what happens when you're making plans", or something to that effect.  I blogged about the plane crash, but haven't blogged about anything that has really occurred or changed since.  So how about I bring everyone up to speed.

Before the plane crash, the hubby was about to be on his way to Miami, FL to continue moving Jus'CrewZen up the east coast.  We had her on a mooring at Dinner Key while we started up DIY Watermakers and moved our land base from Houston, TX to Charlotte, NC.  Now it was time to get her somewhere around the Myrtle Beach area.  Or so, that was the plan.

Then the plane crash happened and left the hubby with a torn labrum.  Things could have been much worse, so we were thankful that was "big" injury.  But it meant that the hubby would be doing no sailing, motoring, or boat moving in general.  In fact, he was now stuck in Charlotte w/ me 7 days a week in the room I was renting in a young couple's house.  (The room was supposed to be a place to sleep while I worked my M-F, 9-5 job, and then I would head out on the weekends to the coast and my hubby.)

Then came the orthopedic appointments, MRI's, and all that jazz.  About a month to month and a half after the plane crash the hubby and his shoulder were scheduled for surgery.  We were counting down the days to surgery b/c the muscles from his neck, down into his shoulder had been in painful spasms for weeks.  Even the cortisone shot only relieved him for a small period of time, and allowed him to sleep for a night.  The Dr let us know that when a shoulder injury occurs that the surrounding muscles will try and compensate for the pain and in turn end up causing pain themselves.  Not a very pleasant Catch 22, but then are Catch 22s ever pleasant?

The DAY BEFORE his surgery, we received a call saying that Jus'CrewZen had a fire.  With no option of going down to Miami b/c of the muscle spasms and the surgery being scheduled, we felt pretty helpless for awhile.  It turns out the fire was in the engine room, and was put out before causing too much damage (more on that later).  Our biggest problem at this point was pumping out the hundreds upon hundreds of gallons of salt water that they had pumped down into her, to put out the fire.

After a couple of calls we were able to find a man to bring in a battery and a boost pump and empty our bilge.  I'll try and find his information to pass along, but if you every need honest work done in Miami he's the guy to call.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Playing Cinderella Again

In addition to wiping soot and mildew off every single surface on the inside of the boat, I also got to do my FAVORITE task today.  Scrubbing floors….on my hands and knees.  

You see, when they pumped the water into the boat to put out the fire, about 4 inches of it remained standing in our aft cabin.  So after throwing away the carpet in the cabin, I needed to scrub the floors.  And "somehow" our deck brush went missing and I was relegated to using a hand held scrubber.  (I'm still convinced that my hubby had something to do with this…)

Its times like these when I am soooooo happy that the hubby doesn't have the "Cinderellee" song that the little mice sing.  Because I'm almost certain that if he did, he would have been singing it gleefully as I scrubbed.  

We have owned Jus'CrewZen for two years, and I have now scrubbed the floors in the aft cabin twice.  That means that on average I end up scrubbing floors once a year.  I'm not quite sure how I feel about this.  Scrubbing floors isn't as gross as, let's say "head duty", but it isn't exactly the glamorous life of a Princess if you know what I mean.  

These are the days when I pull on the rubber gloves and long for my tiara that sits just out of reach  **sigh**