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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
A Key West Moment
May 30, 2008, 4:53 pm

There was a young rooster named Clyde
Who washed his fine feathers with Tide.
They sparkled and grew and he happily knew
He was tops as he strutted with pride.

Poetry Friday
Well, hurray already!
May 29, 2008, 7:11 am

Well, hip, hip, hurray! I was finally able to post something this morning.

Shall we try a photo from this weekend now?


And a happy belated Memorial Day to you too!

ABC, Easy as 123
May 29, 2008, 7:01 am

A is for age:
and Ancient too! Can't say 20-Something chirpily anymore.

B is for burger of choice:
and Bleu Cheese and Bacon all atop a juicy, juicy Beef Burger.

C is for what kind of car you drive:
A midnight blue (bleu?) Pontiac Grand Am

D is for your dog's name:
I haven't a dog now but the wonderful, loving dog I grew up with was named Samantha.

E is for essential item you use everyday:
My life-giving Krups Capuccino Maker.

F is for favorite TV show at the moment:
No TV and we haven't ordered up any shows from Netflix lately.

G is for favorite game:
Yay for Yahtzee!

H is for Home State:
The Blue, Bleu Skies of Colorado

I is for instruments you play:
I'm still wrestling with my guitar.

J is for favorite juice:

K is for whose butt you'd like to kick:
VERIZON and/or certain law enforcement officials. No Internet for two weeks because the former's bandwidth was flooded by the later's new contract.

L is for last restaurant you ate at?
Caroline's on Duval

M is for your favorite Muppet:
Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

N is for Number of Piercing:

O is for overnight hospital stays:
Tonsils when I was in 2nd grade, one childbirth.

P is for people you were with today:
Quiet day on the boat with only Marianna and Hal.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time:
Read and organize my new and improved binder system for planning liturgically.

R is for biggest regret:
Once upon a time I should have thrown an even bigger fit than I did.

S is for status:
Happily married, sailing into the sunset!

T is for time you woke up today:
6:35 - a noisy little green heron flew over the boat.

U is for what you consider unique:
My inability to make it through the Hobbit. I must be the only person on the face of the planet that hasn't read that sucker.

V is for vegetable you love:
Snow peas.

W is for worst habit:
Procrastination, it gets the #1 slot.

X is for x-rays you've had:
Dental and one shoulder job, an ultrasound or two.

Y is for yummy food you ate today:
Portabello Pasta Primavera.

Z is for zodiac sign:
Pisces, a water sign. What a shocker, right?

Thanks, Dawn, for another thoughtful meme this morning!

Hot Hibiscus
May 21, 2008, 12:43 pm

Isn't it beautiful?

April's Shower of Photos
A Memory and a Discovery
May 17, 2008, 9:44 am

A beloved comic ripped the other day.

Hal and I had hung it up years ago in the companionway. Marianna was still little enough she could run around and around on the seats in the boat without cracking her head on a thing. She also was in the hop-hop-hop mode of transportation. She'd hop onto the boat clinging to the rail, swing under, run to the cockpit, hop over the combing to the seats, run around the cockpit once or twice, hop down to the floor area and bounce down each step of the companionway.

Any unsuspecting person below decks was guaranteed a minor heart attack as this 50 pound squirrel was cavorting over their heads.

So it was with a saddened heart that I removed the comic that was not so relevant anymore. Marianna no longer resembles that 50 pound squirrel being all legs and braids and stealth. Oh yes, she has taken good notes from Harriet the Spy and can sneak up on lizards and mothers with equal aplomb.

However, waiting forgetten all these years under the comic was this pretty little plaque.

Now, I know you most likely cannot read it but just below the topmost chain it says "Oh Lord, my boat is so small," followed along the bottom with "and Your sea is so great." To the right is an image of St. Christopher and the words "St. Christopher be my guide."

I have zero recollection of ever having seen this before. Isn't that weird? It is now one of my most favorite things on this boat though!

Isidore's Sunset
May 15, 2008, 8:23 pm

Beautiful evening tonight, Hal and I wandered down the docks to view the sunset with a fine glass of wine. The air was warm while the breeze was cool. I took a million photos of clouds that look like they'd be perfect backdrops for those celestial infant photos new mom's are drawn to purchase. A few turned out slightly more vivid as the sun sank lower, more sunset while listening to Beethoven rather than Brahms, if you know what I mean!

Of course, anytime the sun approaches the horizon here a chorus of conchs begins, A-Dock is echoed by C-Dock, boats on moorings join in. Some folks pull out air horns (cheaters!) or even flutes (who is that, anyway???).

Others jump in boats for a little cocktail cruising. This particular lady is just back from the sandbox and her kitty won't hardly leave her side. Have you ever seen another cat that would eagerly jump into a dinghy for a ride?

Finally, a recipe I don't want to forget as it is soooo good! Today is St. Isidore's Feast Day. This Spanish farmer inspired a grilled vegetable with picada dish tonight. I doubled the picada and breaded some orange roughy for the grill as well.

On the grill:
Bell peppers
Japanese eggplants trimmed, cut lengthwise into 3 slices
Green or yellow zucchini trimmed, cut lengthwise into slices
Olive oil (for grilling)

For the dish:
6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp wine vinegar (which I couldn't find so left out)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (left out, too $$$, a whole plant was cheaper than a package)

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add breadcrumbs; stir until golden, about 3 minutes. Season breadcrumb picada to taste with salt.

Place vinegar in another small bowl; whisk in 3 tablespoons oil. Mix in parsley and oregano. Season to taste with salt. (or dump oil over parsley and call it finito)

Arrange vegetables on platter. Spoon herb dressing over; sprinkle with breadcrumbs.


I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
My Daybook, May 12
May 12, 2008, 1:22 pm

FOR TODAY: May 12...

Outside My Window...
Low, racing clouds are tangling in the masts of the sailboats

I am thinking...
Summery, sandy thoughts

I am thankful for...
This poem given to me by Marianna for Mother's Day:
The Hummingbird
Daintily you sip
Topaz, Ruby, Onyx gleams
There you are, then gone.

From the kitchen...
Asparagus, roast beef and bleu cheese wraps

I am wearing...
A brilliant cotton sundress in retro greens and turquoise

I am creating...
A new summer notebook for grocery lists and notes

I am going...
To consider what it will take to complete a writing project I've been dabbling with this spring

I am reading...
I just began At Risk by Alice Hoffman this morning in the cockpit with coffee, a rosy sunrise and a blackbird chorus

I am hoping...
this blustery weather settles by Thursday

I am hearing...
Rigging clanking on masts, waves slapping the hull, the dinghy bumping the boat

Around my home...
Buena Vista Social Club is blasting (the first song is perfection, isn't it?), Marianna is crafting a mask and I'm debating on Italian Roast coffee or Lavender Green Tea this afternoon.

One of my favorite things...
Sand between my toes while watching herons fly home in the evening

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Organization!!! The holds they are a-bursting!!!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Thank you, Peggy, for the thought-provoking Daybook.

Live Music
May 10, 2008, 11:45 am

Isn't live music simply the best? That is one of the #1 great things about Key West, you can find live music 24 hours a day in this town.

The other night we stopped in at our favorite Irish pub and Fiona Molloy from New York City was crooning her heart out. Since I just happened to have my camera handy I played around with natural light B&W photos. Black and white just seemed like a natural choice for the atmosphere that night.

And Fiona - I'm sorry I freaked you out! Here I was thinking the no-flash thing would be unobtrusive and inconspicuous. In a small venue nothing goes unnoticed, I guess!

Now whenever we groove along with local band Mile Marker 24 the tropical rhythms call for super saturated brilliant color, don't you think? You can hear one of MM24's songs over in the song box, right after the Beach Boys' Kokomo.

And Howard - you on the otherhand are way too fond of the camera.

I'm posting this under April Showers of Photos even though it is May - I think it'll turn into my general photography tag. Have a great weekend! I think we'll try to fit a bit of music in! Is music in your plans too?

April's Shower of Photos
Mayo Margaritas
May 8, 2008, 10:51 am

Well, they weren't really Cinco de Mayo Margaritas as I had to work Monday but my, my, my! have they been delicious Seis de Mayo y Siete de Mayo Margaritas! It has been the week of the quesadilla here aboard the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen, chicken on Monday and steak on Tuesday and last night a super terrific and easy Mexican-inspired soup.

To one box of broth add one can of green enchilada sauce,
one can beans (I used black beans) and shredded chicken to taste.
Top with Sharp Cheddar, diced tomato and sour cream.

Dick the Dog just in at the Navigator Monday evening from skateboarding down Duval Street. Really. I don't make these things up! He is a great 'boarder, you may have seen him on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN or on the cover of the Washington Post.



I just saved my post and saw the title "Mayo Margaritas" and nearly grossed myself out - mayonnaise margaritas??? What the...?

I apologize profusely if you too were taken aback and I can assure you no mayonnaise jar came within 1 foot of the shaker when making the margaritas.

Tequila - yes.

Key Limes - yes.

Triple Sec - yes.

Mayo - NEVER!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
April Showers Bring May Flowers
May 1, 2008, 11:01 pm

A most heartfelt thank you to all the participants in the April Showers of Photographs. I'd like to extend a May Flower to each and every one of you! With that in mind I carried my camera along on a walk with Marianna yesterday, snapping the wildflowers as we came across them. Then tonight I browsed through each of your blogs and selected my personal favorite photo from your collections.

Enjoy this bouquet!

"Go East," they said...

...and these Thy gifts...

As We Walk

By Sun and Candlelight

Five Monkeys and a Princess

Handbook of Nature Study

Island in the Grove

Joyful Chaos

Just Another Day In Paradise

LaPaz Home Learning

Moments Like These

Our Domestic Church

Our Heart's Haven

Parente Adventures

Pondered In My Heart

Running With Perseverence

Shower of Roses

Sonlight Garden


Sweetness and Light

Ten Kids and a Dog

The Bookworm

The Cabbage Patch

The Family-Centered Life

This Blessed Mess

Three Plus Two

Totus Tuus Family

Marcie, Our Guest Photographer

Thank you, ladies, for your inspiration!

April's Shower of Photos

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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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