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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Kansas City Irish Fest
September 10, 2006, 2:13 pm

With the delay of our flight due to TS Ernesto, Marianna and I were able to spend the long Labor Day weekend in Kansas City enjoying the KC Irish Fest. Hurray! What a kickin' time! A 'sea' of green greeted us, fab music was floating on the air and the odor of fish and chips lured us right away to the vendors. As a fresh batch was due any instant, we placed our order. Boy, did we erupt in laughter when we picked up our basket! Not only was it in a basket and not wrapped in newspaper, but the chips were Lay's Potato Chips! No matter how we drenched them in vinegar, it just wasn't quite the same.

Seven Nations is a crazy Florida based band that is unlike quite anything we'd ever heard before! I'd like to point out that the man second from the left is a tremendous fiddle player who happened to have sprained his ankle and hurt his knee in Nova Scotia the weekend previous when he fell off the stage while Stepping but it hasn't slowed him down a bit, he is still reeling - check out his feet. Crazy-Blurred! I cannot think of another band out there where a member would stop and lace on ghillies before jigging!

Try the MP3 Preview of The Paddy Set at eFolkMusic, (search Seven Nations there, link won't work) but be forewarned, this involves bagpipes, yes, but also electric guitars, drums, fiddle and probably even the tin whistle, but not combined in a traditional manner at all. It is quite odd to see a sea of green clad folk headbanging to pipes!

The band that we did not get to stay for and have been bemoanin' ever since is KC's own Elders. Wow! Amazing original music, download Men of Erin, for sure. Just do it. You too, Dad - even you will adore this song!

We three returned early Sunday for a packed outdoor Mass. Fushia's singing was definitely a highlight. Again, more downloads here, though regrettably, none from the Mass itself. I thought it was tremendous to have bits of the Mass sung acapella by a man who was obviously familiar with it - i.e. didn't need papers that blow away, or even a microphone, actually! When it quit for a bit he just stepped away and continued very clearly. The best part had to be Communion though. Fushia just grabbed their instruments after receiving Communion and began jamming with the other songsters while several thousand people waited in line. Not only are they good in a pub, Ladies and Gentlemen, they can improv at Mass!

What a wonderful time! I had so been missing our outdoor music festivals and concerts and Scottish Dancing fun, so this was the best of all of the above. Great music, fanatical people galore, local brew that was not dyed green, thank you very much, and two of my favorite people in the world to share in the fun!

Men of Erin
Lyrics by Ian Byrne

Fare thee well me boy as you wonder this night
Be not feared in the darkness my heart is your light
As you go brave Men of Erin
Faith and love by your side
I will dream of your peace in the night

Please don't cry my Mother as you sit by the hearth
I will dance your memories with joy in my heart
I will go now and pray as I travel this land
And live by the lessons you gave

Fair thee well me boy as you wonder this night
Be not feared in the darkness my heart is your light
As you go brave Men of Erin
Faith and love by your side
I will dream of your peace in the night

Please don't cry my Father as you sit by the hearth
I will dance your memories with joy in my heart
I will go now and pray as I travel this land
And live by the lessons you gave

Fair thee well me boy as you wonder this night
Be not feared in the darkness my heart is your light
As you go brave Men of Erin
Faith and love by your side
I will dream of your peace in the night

Please don't cry my Children
As you stand by my Grave
I have danced your memories all of my days
I will go now and pray as I travel this land
And live be the lessons you gave

© 2004 - The Elders

Our Faith
And the answer is...
September 9, 2006, 12:01 am

President Harry S. Truman!

The home, Soda Fountain Shop, Courthouse, and Presidential Museum are located in Independence, Missouri.

Twain, and Hemingway both wrote in Key West, while Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Carter stayed at Truman's Little White House in Key West.

Truman enjoyed his time in Key West, even threatening his wife, Bess, with the "notion to move the capitol
to Key West and just stay."

A truly great idea.

Care to Place a Guess?
September 8, 2006, 10:28 am

Care to hazard a guess as to whose home this was? This famous personage also had a residence in Key West, so Marianna and I were very pleased to be able to visit the landlocked home he returned to throughout his very busy life. The iron fence had to be installed at his retirement as 10,000 people (half the population of the town) turned out to welcome him home.

His very first job was at Clinton's Soda Fountain Shop where he served up Phosphates and Sundaes before and after school. This Soda Jerk's favorite treat was a Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae with Butterscotch Sauce, no nuts, no whipped cream. (We added whipped cream to ours!)

After trying his hand at a Haberdashery shop in a nearby city, he became involved with the 'Pendergast Machine' and returned to this town, working just across the street at the Courthouse and eating his lunches at Clinton's still.

This proud Missouri Son never forgot his dirt farming roots, though he did marry his Sunday School Sweetheart who was definitely from the upper class - at least according to her mother! They moved in with her mother at 219, and she stayed with the married couple and their daughter for the rest of her very long life.

So in the tradition of Cay's Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks Mystery Literature Locations, place your best guess in the Comments and check back tomorrow for the answer!

September 6, 2006, 9:16 pm

Is it ironic or what...after moaning over library internet connections in Kansas to come home to one beautifully full day of internet service and then none untill now i.e. bedtime???

I know what Michelle and Marianna think of that!

Three Neighbors
September 1, 2006, 10:22 am

Since we cannot post pictures on the library computers (Prepare yourself for a deluge of postings when I am reunited with the laptop!) I thought I'd draw your attention to my sidebar again today and introduce three of our neighbors.

The S/V Miss Emily is located in Key Largo, the next town up, right by our favorite local pub - Sharkeys (picture there). They are working on their boat, which happens to be exactly like ours! (35' Cornado) Micha has a great Ernesto Story you should check out.

John and Ellen live on the Rubicon with their brand new gorgeous baby just a few boats down from us in our Marina, Blue Waters. They are in the process of prepping a new boat between rain showers and are Rudderless, and Loving It. Ellen writes for various magazines and we are always thrilled to see her articles when we crack open a sailing mag.

Our third neighbor is the Justduet, a cute catamaran. Dick and Marnie have posted loads of frightening pictures of Blue Waters Folk at our various parties, including Marianna, Sophie Anne and Christian Sea, three cuties! Currently they are way north in Cold Country with a new endeavor, but will be back this fall.

I hope you enjoy this peek into other's sailing lives on my sidebar!

P.S. I cannot get the Ernesto Story Link to work and am out of time at the library! Scroll down on Micha's blog to August 31, "Ernesto, who???"

The Sailing Twins
August 31, 2006, 10:31 am, Delphi, Greece

The Sailing Twins are studying Ancient History as it should be studied! These 11 year old boys sail on the S/V Gone Native, a lovely Norseman 430 Catamaran. I think we will be checking in on their blogs frequently as we begin to delve into our own Ancient World studies. Here's hoping you continue to find hotspots in your travels!

Ernesto the Tropical Storm
August 30, 2006, 5:10 am, Tavernier

Well this storm was quite the disappointment! Either we were in the perfect track for light rain and winds or this storm was very highly over rated.

It rained off and on from about 1200 AM (1200 hrs) Tuesday to about 6:00 PM (1800 hrs) with a light breeze, maybe 20-30 MPH from the east. Then it was still. A really weird still that made you think you might be in the eye, but it lasted until I went to bed at about midnight! I was awakened at 4:30 AM (0430 hrs) by the fender on the starboard side bumping against the piling; the wind had finally arrived but it still has not gotten over 30 MPH. After checking radar, I realized the eye of the Tropical Storm was 30 miles inland and this wind was the backside wind hitting us from the west. I adjust lines, wrote this blog at 5:00 AM (0500 hrs) and plan a retreat back to bed for another 40 winks.

Lesson Learned: Over preparedness in Florida is not a bad thing. We have had tropical storms hit land and head directly the opposite direction that was predicted and we were not ready (remember Katrina, she was a tropical storm just before hitting north Miami and jogging south to find us unprepared and not even on the boat). Better to be prepared and get a restful night sleep then try to play catch up and be up all night!
Hurricane Ernesto is almost over for the Keys. I hope the mainland and the states beyond fairs as well as us.

Fair winds, Hal

P.S. Marianna, Please note the military time in Parenthesis and have Mom tell you about UTC. I hear the morse code is coming along good! Time to set up the H.F. Transmitter?

E is for Ernesto and Evacuation
Jennifer, in the state that is officially flatter than a pancake.
August 29, 2006, 12:17 pm

For the first time ever, Marianna and I are not home for a storm. Instead we are landlocked in the City of Fountains while Hal breaks down the boat solitarily. My dear sister has no internet access and only local TV with awful newscasters who delight in standing on top of the storm or placing a scrolling news banner over the Florida Keys. So I am haunting the libraries today as Ernesto nears landfall. Which, according to the Wunderground site, is as near a direct hit as Key Largo/Tavernier have had in many years.

The bad news is that Marianna and I were to fly home tomorrow and Ernesto is to be sitting on top of our airport at the exact time we were to land. The good news is that Southwest has granted us 14 days to fly home with no additional charges or fees.

Hal, we will be haunting the libraries tracking this storm, when we are not on the cell with you that is! I refuse to combine the two, cell phone + library = Irate Jennifer!

So, on with the intensive Weather Nature Study Unit...

Nature Study
Morse Code Alphabet
The Morse Code Alphabet is the second step on Sailorgirl's journey to HAM Radio Operator's License.
August 22, 2006, 10:17 pm

A .- B -... C -.-.

D -.. E . F ..-.

G --. H .... I ..

J .--- K -.- L .-..

M -- N -. O ---

P .--. Q --.- R .-.

S ... T - U ..-

V ...- W .-- X -..-

Y -.-- Z --..

Fullstop .-.-.-

Comma --..--

Query ..--..

Check out the Morse Code Translater in the Favorites Sidebar, lots of fun to be had there!

The Phonetic Alphabet
The Phonetic Alphabet is Sailorgirl's Topic of Study for the next 10 days!
August 20, 2006, 10:01 pm

A .......... ALPHA N .......... NOVEMBER
B .......... BRAVO O .......... OSCAR
C .......... CHARLIE P .......... PAPA
D .......... DELTA Q .......... QUEBEC
E .......... ECHO R .......... ROMEO
F .......... FOXTROT S .......... SIERRA
G .......... GOLF T .......... TANGO
H .......... HOTEL U .......... UNIFORM
I .......... INDIA V .......... VICTOR
J .......... JULIET W .......... WHISKY
K .......... KILO X .......... X-RAY
L .......... LIMA Y .......... YANKEE
M .......... MIKE Z .......... ZULU


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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Who: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Port: Boca Chica
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