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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
Today's The Day!!!
March 19, 2007, 5:40 am, Key West

Today's the Day!!! Jen is __ years old! Yes another Birthday is here!

To the best Admiral and my best friend; I wish you a Very Happy Birthday!!! Love ya, Hal

...and this little pig said - what????
Thunderstorms, perhaps. 80's today.
March 16, 2007, 7:28 am, Boca Chica Marina, FL

hic porculus mercatum ibat,
hic porculus domi remanebat,
hic porculus multum edebat,
hic porculus nihil hebebat,
et hic porculus vagiebat " vii, vii, vii" usque domum.

More Latin fun here - a poster and a book cover and fun T-Shirts. Two Books I want, and One book I have.

ETA: Hooray for the UK!!! The National Archives practical online tutorial for beginners looks great!

Don't forget the Latin Rosary from Jennifer - As Cozy As Spring.

Or the freebies from Latin for Children.

Benjamin L. D'Ooge's classic text is available for download also.

We'll see if this keeps Marianna busy for awhile and fullfills that desire to learn Latin that she's been yammering about for, gosh, 2 years now!

ETA2: Added a photo of Marianna as it just doesn't seem like a "real" post without a photo.

Steamed crabs and Old Bay, The land of pleasant living, Please pass the butter!
Do you like the haiku for today's title???
March 15, 2007, 2:46 pm

We renewed our aquaintance with a beloved food - Golden Crabs!

Golden Crabs are a Florida Keys specialty, fished for at amazing depths, 1,140 to 2,880 feet in the Gulf of Mexico north of the Florida Keys. Very similar to other crabs in taste I suppose, the meat is delicate and sweet. However, they are the hardest things to get into. A hammer does absolutely no good in this case! Under the hard shell there is a very thick membrane that doesn't smash but needs cut if one wants to make progress and not starve to death while eating.

So we gather our largest knives for this crab feast. A quick press down along the shell, not across the shell, and the crab leg can be pried into two halves easily and the delectable portion removed and transferred to the mouth after a quick bath in the butter! Yummm...

Though I have publically proclaimed that we have completed our studies of Greece, it seems Greece is not quite finished with us! Yesterday we discussed Archimedes Number, otherwise known as Pi and tonight the Greek story of The Golden Crab in The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang would go quite nicely with this dinner!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Continuing Weekend Wrap Up
March 14, 2007, 7:16 am

Gosh, I need some help with titles of posts! Uggh, not enough time and too tired to be too creative I suppose shall be my excuse today!

So why the tiredness? Still recovering from the weekend perhaps? Friday night we attended an impromptu conch blowing celebration here at Boca Chica. A lady from C Dock won the Key West Conch Blowing Contest. So we all had to see how we would have measured up. As I remember she blew her conch for about 30 seconds and the next closest in the marina was definitely Hal. All those years and years of diving have given the man a huge lung capacity and he came very, very close to her record. In his defense, his conch is much larger than hers and size does make a difference in how much air is required for a nice sound.

A dozen different conchs sounding off every sunset, now that is a nice sound in this marina! Echoing back and forth from dock to dock to anchored boats and back around as the sun sinks into the sea. Lovely.

Saturday we attended a pig roast on Fleming Key. The military wives must have gotten together and decided to bring weird retro food, the kind of tasteless side dishes with crushed chips sprinkled over the top that I haven't had in years, with the exception of these highly addictive, set you back in your chair rolls-ups of cream cheese, raw garlic, and jalapenos on tortillas. So innocent looking, I snagged one on the way in and then had to pass one out to Hal and Marianna as they'd be riding in the truck with me the rest of the night. But I caught both of them grabbing seconds later on in the evening! Maybe we should have some as appetizers tonight...

We headed off the Key about sunset as the guys were preparing a huge and very dangerous looking bonfire and we had a date with our favorite local artist to attend. For which, I'll have you know, we found a meter in front of the movie theater with over 4 hours left on it! Wow! I have got to remember that trick - check out the parking by theaters for people who so hated the movie they stormed off leaving some other lucky person to profit by their twenty-five cents buys ten minutes quarter!

Sunday we dashed up to Marathon for the Seafood Fest and found free parking again!!! Mmmmm...started with Key West Pink Shrimp, moved on to Conch Fritters, tried the Smoked Fish and a taste of the Conch Chowder. We skipped the famous Lobster Dinner as it was mostly bread, beans, salad with only half a lobster for $15. Thanks but no thanks. We'll get our own and cook them as we like best.

Discovered a great Bluegrass Band The Doerfel Family. They travel about the country, homeschooling their kids and playing bluegrass.

A local no grape, all tropical fruit Winery was set up for tastings of very sweet wine. Hal and I prefer pancakes or waffles with something that sweet. I kept having flashbacks to Village Inn and those 4 different syrup containers they had on the table. Truth be told, the Passion Fruit was pretty complex and would be quite nice over ice some August evening. Now, would I want a case of it??? As a Sangria fan myself, I've been racking my brain for a cool name or label to win that contest.

Unfortunately, reading through my recent post titles is not very reassuring.

My Flower
March 13, 2007, 9:01 pm

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

It is quite funny that I am a Daffodil for I have just finished reading and doing an Acrostic poem on Narcissis and Echo. However I do not think that I am self-centered.
Happy Birthday, Vanessa!
March 13, 2007, 4:38 pm

Strawberry Blondie
Tennis, Volleyball and Math
Aged Sixteen Today

A Happy Birthday Haiku, Vanessa!!!

A Spring Flower Quiz!
March 13, 2007, 4:00 pm

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Hmmm...what can I say about a flower I've always considered rather waffly? Will it be blue? Will it be pink? Let's bury iron nails at the base of the bush and see what happens! It's like a mad science experiment escaped from the lab. At least this hydrangea is the perfect blue for my blog without messing about with aluminum sulfate or lime!

Hat-tip to Dawn, who is planning a maple sugaring outing this weekend!
Wyland's Glasses
March 10, 2007, 7:10 am

Did you have a fun and fabulous weekend? We sure did! Very, very busy but very, very fun too! I hope you will enjoy seeing pictures of the Key Largo Whaling Wall that I promised a very long time ago, while I record some thoughts about a portion of the past weekend for which the camera was left at home! Oh dear!

A highlight of the weekend was visiting one (he has 2 within a block of each other in Key West!) of Wyland's Galleries to watch the man paint. If you bought a brush painting (50% off, only $3,500 today!) he painted it right before your very eyes and your picture would be taken with Wyland and the finished painting.

After that, he completed an oil painting of two dolphins over a coral reef, named it Coral Reef Dance and auctioned it off for $14,000. Since there were only two bidders out of the crowd, Wyland stopped the bidding and promised a similar, yet unique, painting to the second bidder for the same price rather than continue to drive the price up. Which I thought was very decent of him.

Now, that is all a very interesting yet fairly bland description of part of our weekend. But it is really only the background for the amazing and fun part of the story.

Wyland was painting away, speedy gonzalez, at the huge brush paintings but when he began the finishing touches on the oil painting he began working much slower and muttering to himself. Eventually he dove beneath a nearby table, pulled out a toolbox and rummaged through it. Not finding what he was looking for he called for the gallery workers to look in the back for his glasses at which point Hal stepped forward with his basic reading glasses extended.

Wyland accepted and was able to complete his painting.

Happy Birthday, Veronica!
March 8, 2007, 8:23 am


Happy Birthday, Veronica!!!

The Farewell Brunch Bunch and Other Photos
March 7, 2007, 1:29 pm, Bluewaters Marina to Boca Chica

Oh, Sophia! We'll miss you too!

Our littlest cruising friend came to say goodbye at Sunday Brunch. Those eyes! That lower lip! The quizzical left eyebrow! You're as sweet as sugar candy, Soph!

More pictures of the voyage, most not nearly as cute as this one, can be found in our photo gallery tonight. Link in the side bar, also here.


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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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