Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve (I Hope)!!

Wilbur does his sniffy thing at our anchorage
I'm attemping to use Blogsy from my iPad and I'm not feeling too good about it. Here's keeping my fingers crossed that I can actually post.
After a quick trip to Publix this morning I have to tell you I feel far safer here at anchor than on land. Something I've learned since moving to the land of Newly Wed's and Nearly Dead's is this; keep clear of all Cadillacs. This is because whether parked or in motion, those that are parked may soon leap into motion and those that are already in motion don't have a clue as to where they are going and often mistake the accelerator for the brake. But let's not discriminate here. The occupants of all the other vehicles are either on their cell phones, texting, and the true multi-taskers are texting in addition to swooshing their fingers over their iPads (and you can't blame them as concentrating on the road must be so boring).

So after dodging a couple of Cadillacs in Publix's parking lot alone and then wading my way through a myriad of people just to get a couple of very necessary items (bourbon and beer) I was hugely relieved to arrive back at the boat where Hans had everything ready for a quick getaway.

Now, I've taken the boat out of the slip quite successfully a few times now and I had no doubt I'd be able to do it again today. But I didn't count on the fact that the Knotty Cat loves an audience and she hates to be taken for granted. And after today's launching I have a feeling that our new neighbors on our port side with their beautiful Beneteau, and the captain on the boat directly across from us (and right in our forward path) whose huge frightened eyes still burn in my brain, are telling everyone in our marina to stay clear of the crazy blond on the Island Packet Cat.

So yes, I do feel safer at anchor right now but imagine how the poor folks at our marina feel knowing that we'll be coming back in tomorrow.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Hectic Holiday Week

We celebrated our Christmas on the Knotty Cat the day before Christmas Eve. 

On Christmas Eve itself we flew north to Pennsylvania in order to visit family and friends. We literally hotel hopped the whole time we were there in order to take advantage of points, miles, etc... and we scored free hotel rooms for three of the nights we were there.

But, we were very lucky.  All of our flights were on time, and we only had one day of really crappy weather we had to drive through in our Mustang Convertible.
Yes, I said Mustang Convertible.  I thought the lady at the car rental place was joking when she told us what they were giving us but I found out very quickly that she had no sense of humor whatsoever.  And after telling her that we had no desire to drive through blizzard like conditions in a rear wheel drive sports vehicle she nastily informed us that, for a price, we could up-grade. 

We (Hans) didn't.  But apparently the convertible caught wind of our dissatisfaction and after we deposited all our belongings into its trunk it decided to treat us to its little bag of tricks.
While trying to familiarize ourselves with the working systems of the car we turned on the dome light. When we tried to turn out the light we inadvertently activated the 'convertible' feature.  While it hummed and whined, our windows started going up and down, up and down...
...and up and down (although the top remained firmly in place).

An attendant tried to help us but the Mustang just laughed in his face. 

I'm sorry to say that even after I got out and refused to go any further in this beast and Hans stated that we had already voiced our dissatisfaction with this particular make of vehicle, we ended up exiting the airport in a stinking white Mustang Convertible!

It didn't make me feel any better a day later when we were filling it up at a gas station and a local asked us why the hell we didn't have our car 'garaged' for the winter.  

But we soldiered on and were quite relieved to finally drop off our convertible (unscathed) at the air port, and last night we finally arrived back to our Knotty Cat.
In a driving rain storm.

The week must have caught up with us and we didn't wake up until 10:40 this morning!  I made a mad dash to Doggy Day Care where Wilbur was to be picked up by 11:00. He's been comatose in our salon ever since he got back and has yet to go potty.

Wilbur helps us unwrap our presents.  He's a peach.

One of Hans' co-workers thinks we're disgusting so Hans couldn't resist  writing this on my gift tag.

I got Hans a 'head lamp' for when he checks out our engines.  He uses it here to open his other presents.

Wilbur:  "Oh, Crap, it's just a picture book of their wedding and they made me be the ring bearer when I wanted to be the flower girl."

First Mate and Captain glasses from Tervis.  So where's the Salty Dog glass?

But, best of all (and I do mean best of all!!!!) I managed to put one over on Hans.

Wilbur helps Hans open his 'mystery present'.
The week before Christmas, Hans told one of our live-a-board friends about a keyboard he'd had back in the 80's and how much he'd loved it. It was a Casio CZ-101 and even though it was small it did all kinds of fun things.  Unfortunately, it mysteriously disappeared a few years ago and if he only had it now he just knew he'd be able to have all kinds of fun with it.

That's all I needed to hear and I jumped onto EBay, bought one, and prayed it would get to us before Christmas Eve.

It arrived on Saturday while Hans was home and I felt like an agent from Mission Impossible. I ended up hiding it under a palm tree before moving it to the back of our vehicle (where I wrapped it and Hans never had a clue!), and then when Hans took a trip to the bath house I threw it into our guest berth (the garage) where he never goes but of course that day he did.  Thank God I'd thrown a blanket over it and he never saw it.

After all our presents had been opened I brought this one out and proceeded to bluff him as best I could. I said I hoped our refrigeration wouldn't fail while we were away. Hans looked puzzled and said his present didn't feel cold.  I mentioned this thing called dry ice.  He wondered if I'd bought him Omaha Steaks.  I rolled my eyes and said after all we live on the coast and there's this stuff called seafood, and I could tell he wasn't too thrilled, and then he finally got the box open and saw his keyboard.

Hans was truly surprised and I doubt I'll ever be able to pull off something like this again.

Ta-Da!!!  A Casio CZ-101 keyboard from the 1980's.  And it works!

Wilbur performed his famous squeakerectomy within seconds of opening his present from Sandy Paws.

This morning after I picked up Wilbur I heard a car crunch through the gravel behind our boat so of course I looked out.  I nearly had a heart attack when I saw a white Mustang Convertible slink past us and I swear its headlights were shifting back and forth while it took in its surroundings .  "Oh My God!!"  I hissed to Hans, "It's our convertible and it knows where we live!!!"  It turned around and left and I'm going to try not to worry about it as we intend to head out into the Gulf tomorrow in order to spend New Year's Eve on the hook.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

You mean it's almost Christmas?

And just like every other year in my life I left my Christmas shopping until the last minute. 
In past years I blamed the fact that I had two jobs and no time.  
Now that I don't have a job I blame the fact that living in Florida, where I don't shovel snow everyday and I'm still wearing shorts and flip-flops, has skewed my sense of seasons. I should be embarrassed (but I'm not) to admit that I thought Christmas was next week.
Actually, I have no excuse beyond the fact that I'm simply lazy.

So anyway, UPS delivered a package to our boat a few days ago, and since it had both our names on it I decided it must be a Christmas present and therefore waited for Hans to come home before opening it (a damn hard thing for me to do).
And it was indeed a Christmas present from my Baby Girl.  She sent us a two inch thick Queen size Memory Foam Mattress Pad. 
I swear, that girl will do anything to ensure being remembered in our will (and I fear she'll be severely disappointed). 

Someone loves our new Memory Foam Pad.  I'll give you two guesses. 

Wrapping paper, wrapped presents, and presents awaiting to be wrapped.
Isn't this what Nav Stations were designed for?
My HUGE wrapping area. Please don't envy me.
A few humble gifts for Hans and Wilbur.
Last year I waited until we had landed and were in our hotel room before I even started wrapping presents.
I swore I wouldn't do that this year, so today I got all my wrapping done and only then did I stop to ponder whether I was going to be able to take wrapped gifts in my carry-on luggage and risk a brouhaha at airport security.
It's too late now and all I can do is keep my fingers crossed.

I ended up having to make another run to the Dollar Tree for more wrapping paper and scotch tape, and finally I was done!! All that remained was one small square of paper and don't think I wasn't a little bit insulted when Hans informed me that it was more than enough for his gift for me.
I smell trouble.

It's now the night before the night before Christmas Eve and we are watching Mr. MaGoo's Christmas Carol.  I had completely forgotten about this old cartoon and I'm shocked at how many memories have flooded back to me from my childhood.  My sister and I were huge fans of anything that smacked of Christmas animation and I'm having a good time.
I just saw an ad for 'It's a Wonderful Life' and it's going to be aired at 8 PM on Christmas Eve. I've already warned Hans that we (or at least I) will be watching it as it is my all time favorite movie.

Tomorrow night we'll be watching The Grinch who Stole Christmas thanks to a DVD my son gave me a few years ago.

It just doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Fun Family Weekend

Hans' baby brother came all the way down from Canada this past weekend to celebrate his 45th birthday with us.  

We were thankful for two things; the first being that I was able to get our boat out of the slip without smacking into our new neighbor (a very impressive Beneteau), and that we were able to sail in the Gulf all day long before anchoring for the night.  

The only problem that perhaps slightly overshadowed our wonderful weekend was my horribly-gone-wrong haircut. In all my years on this earth I've never been as stunned as I was this past week with what I'm calling the hair cut from hell (dirty dishwater blond, dutch boy bowl cut might give you an idea) which explains why I'm not in any of our pictures and why I'm sure Hans is thanking any and all  Gods that I got it re-cut today.  
A man should only have to put up with so many tears.

PS, I'm still not completely happy but thank God my hair grows fast. 

Holy Crap!!! We actually put up the main!!!

Wilbur loves the birthday boy, Uncle #1

Wilbur suffers so in these cold Florida temps. Brrrrrrr

Wilbur's Uncle #2 enjoys our new anchorage

The Knotty Cat after a fun weekend.  Look at all the dishes (which I actually enjoy washing)!

Baby Brother, Hans, and Wilbur's best side.
(Check out my holiday dock box)
We ended up anchoring in the same place we did on day one of our Turkey Tour.  Something was noticeably different this time though and that was the giant influx of Angry Birds. As evening approached and we sat in the cockpit we couldn't help but notice thick clouds of noisy black birds (crows?),  ala  Alfred Hitchcock, noisily flying overhead.
I remember being awakened in the early morning hours the next day by the noise of these birds and I swear I thought they were sitting right outside our hatch (which I eventually found out they were). "CAW CAW CAW!"  uh oh uh oh uh oh"  "HA HA HA!"  "warble warble warble", went their conversation just over my head.
Wilbur's Uncle #2  happened to be up early and was sitting in the cockpit at that time and he told us we had at least 50 birds perched on our mast, boom, forestay, backstays, and jib.

I'm just thankful that they didn't use us as a port-a-potty and we only had a few poopy bird messes to clean up.

Wilbur had a wonderful time too, but after our guests left it would appear he slid into a slight depression.
Thus the conversation overheard in our berth around 3 AM last night:

Hans:  What the hell? Why are our sheets wet? Did someone piss the bed?
Me: Huh?
Hans: Someone pissed the bed!
Me: Well, it wasn't me!
Hans: It wasn't me either!
Wilbur: Snoooooooooooooooore.


If Wilbur starts ripping the wings off flies and starting fires, I fear we may have a future serial killer on our hands.