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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
Christmas in July
July 25, 2007, 8:20 am

It's July 25 and Marianna and I are thoroughly enjoying SIRIUS POPS Christmas in July programing today. Such a nice break from this heat and humidity! Snow angels here we come!

In keeping with the spirit of today I devoted a couple of pages in my journal to random thoughts of the Holiday Season. A few things that worked great last year and a few things that didn't, and mostly things I'm pondering for this year. Not very in depth at all - I'll save that for my Seasonal Planner!


Dawn has asked about other's Journals and Notebooks, so I thought I'd oblige as I'm in the midst of a huge planning spree right now - big, BIG changes are in the works - more on that in a future post! For now I'll stick with the journal I'm using for this summer.

But really, before I can talk about this summer's journal, I have to acknowledge the inspiration and that would go back to last Christmas and O Night Divine and that humble little planner packet I put together in a three hole folder with cute calendar pages (decorated by me!!!) and dividers for each of the weeks of Advent where I could quickly place an idea or recipe pertinent to that week that I'd ripped out of a magazine.

What with the move and travels and well, life, this entirely useful thing didn't make it past Epiphany even though I really liked it. What replaced it is a super cute Planner from Pier 1 of all places, that has been a great fit with our life. It is cute enough I like to see it around, therefore, it sticks around and is actually used! A few cute stickers sprinkled about help catch the eye for important dates, my mechanical pencil fits nicely in the spine and a few added ribbons for dividers finish this off in a most satisfactory way.

What is not available in this planner is a way to store those idea clippings or to write more than the briefest note for the day. I really enjoyed the space during the holidays to spread out and ramble and reflect on paper.

So out came a super cheap notebook - I'd tried beautifully bound books before and the perfectionist tendencies this brings out are scary - and I taped a favorite photo to the front over the name, address, blah, blah, blah part and a little clipping proclaiming News? over the scan bar. One personalized Journal, coming right up! It and the extras (scissors, tape, glue, pens) all slip so neatly into a gallon sized ziplock bag.

So what do I actually write in this? Well, today it was all about Christmas, of course! Yesterday was simply a listing of Ideas I'd been pondering for school.

Some days I may take two pages and paste in things related to an upcoming event - Our Anniversary! - other days a simple commentary on dinner.

Occasionally the same thing ends up in a blog post too!

It really is a simple way for me to be a tad creative about anything I desire! Now, the nitty-gritty homeschool planning gets its own binder and a potential future post too!
My New Favorite Chicken Salad
July 7, 2007, 2:26 pm

My new favorite chicken salad is my new favorite precisely because it is so very easy. It also stores well in the cooler where it is currently residing beside a lovely chilled Reisling for tonight's over night sail.

In a large ziptop bag combine:

1/2 cantalope, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 mild red onion, sliced
1 pkg cooked chicken breast

When ready to serve open a bagged salad (we like Asian or Caesar) and squirt the dressing over the chopped items in the ziptop bag. Mix lightly. Serve over the lettuce.

CBS Early Morning Show
July 5, 2007, 3:04 pm

So very bright and early this morning after the late night fireworks on the Fourth of July, Marianna and I found ourselves on Mallory Square to watch the filming of the CBS Early Show. This summer Dave Price is traveling across America in an RV visiting unique places.

Can you get anymore unique than Key West? Check out the high wire juggler in the background, a Mallory Square Sunset regular for years and years!

Why all the police in this shot? To show how wierd we Keys folk are, they were all carrying fuzzy pink handcuffs. Nice touch, City Police!

The Save Our Chickens Lady was there with Red Rover her Rooster. Personally, I think it is a shame that we have to pay 75 cents for 6 eggs when all these darn chickens are running around laying eggs all over Key West. Certain stores used to pay local kids to collect eggs but people became horrified at the thought of eating eggs from chickens who run around free and a stop was put on that practice. Much better to ship in eggs from chickens living in cages in Colorado than to eat local free range eggs.

Okay. Sorry for the rant. People are just so disconnected from their food in today's society and it can drive me nuts!

It was just too, too early for these dancers, poor guys. They'd go and sit on the ground untill called over and they'd shuffle around blowing on their whistles untill the CBS boss lady said they could go sit down again.

But not to worry, it all ended on a sweet note - free Key Lime Pie for breakfast! Look at all the people leaving the madness of the filming and stream over for a cool slice of heaven - so delicious.

And yes, that is a Captain Outrageous Truck in front of the Key Lime Pie station. Captain Outrageous passed away this winter, so Todd and Sandy - I hope you still have your bicycle! What a collectors' item!

You can check out several videos filmed this morning on Mallory Square at this link.

June 26, 2007, 8:10 am

Coffee is my best friend today. I won't even tell you how many cups I've ingested so far this morning.

Returned my sis to the airport yesterday - super sad to see her leave! Had a wonderful drive home over the Overseas Highway until we hit Big Pine Key after dark. Due to the Key Deer one has to coast through the place at 35 miles an hour after sunset. I'm fine with this, I don't mind gliding through the town.

But after Big Pine last night spitty, intermittent rain began with blinding lightning over the bay and I reached that state of tiredness in which each bolt seemed aimed directly at my reddened eyes.

We made it home, but were up before the sun this morning to return our rental car (we don't generally take our Conch Cruisers to the mainland) by 7:16am. So un-Keysy like to have our rental car lady (named Winsome, by the way) so insistent on 7:16 in the morning but we obliged her and I'm certain avoided additional hourly fees by doing so.

Now, how much caffeine will it take to make me feel as sunny and perky as this pretty little flower that is blooming all over Key West currently?

Home again, home again...
Jiggety-jig! We're practicing our jigging for the world's longest Cuban Conga Line on Friday Night - from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico right down Duval Street!
June 21, 2007, 6:33 am

Another bee-yoo-tiful morning in the Florida Keys! Can you see the rainbow arching down to the left from the towering cumulus with virga falling?

I've been tempted to have a second blog devoted to nothing but the sunrise and/or sunset daily. My favorite times of the day!

Marianna and I are back and have been for a few days, but we brought a stowaway with us!

My newly graduated 1st-in-her-class sister came to Key West for a bit of a Senior Trip after an intensive school year, so we've been doing a bit of intensive relaxing - LOL!

So I'm off to brew another cup of java for her, though I may have to pull her out of the water to give it to her. This one loves snorkeling! Especially in our warm waters - 80+ degrees last measure - along the wall by the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen where the blue tangs and a mystery angelfish hang out. Anyone able to ID an angelfish with yellow on the bottom and purple on the top?

San Francisco and Sea Lions
June 14, 2007, 6:04 am

The Golden Gate Bridge on a lovely sunny day. Actually, to tell the truth, I don't think we have ever been in San Francisco when it wasn't filled with sunshine! Sunshine and WIND. Man, that is one windy town!

First stop just has to be Fishermans Wharf for great seafood, right?

While walking the docks to see the sailboats we were thrilled to see this little guy. So neat! We followed him down the docks and around a corner and...

were shocked to see this! Wow! I can totally see how these critters can sink a boat now!

This is not the Caribbean!
June 11, 2007, 3:02 pm


My single pair of pants came in handy this week as we explored the Pacific Beaches along the coast.

Marianna approaches the Pacific...

and dips a toe in.

Sand dunes are terrific!

Cliff lined beaches full of agates are perfect for windbreaks as well as beachcombing.

A harbor with not-very-many sailboats.

Wow! It's a wave! The Keys have zero waves, so this is quite exciting.

Certain people in our party thought this a very odd place for a Channel Marker - LOL!

But were thrilled with the "Sealion Show" offshore at 5pm daily.

A magnificent time!

How do tropical girls react to the high mountains?
June 1, 2007, 10:29 am

Have you ever wondered how two girls from Maui and a couple of Key Westers react to the first sight of snow in years?

First we shiver.

Then the snow is carefully analyzed.

It is approached very cautiously and lightly touched.

All too quickly these girls remember what snow is good for.
Note the shoes, please.

I think this is getting rather out of hand now, don't you?

Are we having fun yet?
You bet we are!
May 26, 2007, 3:40 pm

We've arrived! We hit the ground running! We haven't stopped since!

Bike trails, home grown cherries, hikes,
Marianna's cinnamon rolls, deer sightings, picnics,
really cold pools, pingpong, dogwood blossoms...

Mom and Dad by a big goose pen in a big old tree.

A bear in a meadow in Yosemite.

The Three Musketeers: Marianna, Veronica and Vanessa
May 19, 2007, 1:08 pm

Can you imagine the miles this coconut has seen?

Posts may be a little sporadic
for a few weeks as Marianna and I
do a bit of traveling ourselves!

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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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