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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
An Interview
September 4, 2008, 9:11 am

I had the pleasure of being interviewed the other day by Christine of Perils of Parenting and Other Ponderings. She writes for the Homeschool Blog Awards site which is where you will find my interview!

Thank you, Christine, it was a pleasure!

Red Sails in the Sunset
A song I heard by Nat King Cole. These lines caught me, hook, line and sinker!
September 2, 2008, 9:34 pm

Red sails, the night wind is blowing
And clouds are hiding the moon
Above no bright stars are glowing
It means the storm's coming soon.

~Louis Armstrong

April's Shower of Photos
My Datebook, September 1
September 1, 2008, 11:13 pm

Stop by Peggy's for more entries.

Outside my Window...
is a swarm, a cloud, a scourge of mosquitoes!

I am thinking...
Last week I was thinking about Hurricane Gustav and a September pattern that I was afraid might be developing. Well, I'm afraid it has. This stinks.

I am thankful for...
Wunderground and Jeff Masters' Blog.

From the kitchen...
Hal has been marinating a tri-tip in chipotles and limes for dinner. I have bacon-topped, cheese-stuffed jalapenoes ready for the grill.

I am creating...
Still working on creating order aboard. Gustav rocked us a bit and threw around a few things - silverware, the vaccuum leapt out of its locker - and I'd like to be a little more lashed down, a little more polished up by Friday when Hanna is due in town (according to the Key West Forecast).

I am going...
to embrace Autumn this week! Look for a change in tunes in the sidebar here at the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen. The summertime songs will be replaced by something a bit more autumnal, but New England autumnal, not Key West autumnal as that'd be nothing but hurricane songs!

I am wearing...
a pink tank and white and pink shorts this morning. I'm ready to clean!

I am reading...
the latest Victoria!

I am hoping...
to do a bit of fun shopping this week. I saw a really cute purse the other day. I wonder if it is still there? :)

I am hearing...
Hayden's London Symphony

Around the home...
Never mind that right now.

One of my favorite things...
this sounds odd, but I love stepping off the boat and smelling fish. A strong odor of fish usually means that the dolphins are around. It is always so exciting to see our local pod! There is a little one this summer that is so enthusiastic, always jumping and tail slapping, it's so very cute!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I'm thinking either a cherry tart or cherries and cheese on Wednesday for Saint Gregory of Gregorian Chant fame and Indian Curry and Mangoes with Chai for Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta on Friday.

Here is a picture thought or I am sharing with you:

Have a lovely day!

The Hurricane Grotto
August 30, 2008, 1:13 pm

Candles are flickering away at the Hurricane Grotto today. Bands of intense rain and wind are pushing through every few hours today. Yet, even as we deal with the reality of Hurricane Gustav our eyes turn to the east and Hanna. Have you ever seen one hurricane fuel a second? Watch the satellite.

ETA: Pictures and links aren't loading properly today. Sorry!

My Datebook, August 26
August 26, 2008, 8:10 am

Stop by Peggy's for more entries.

Outside my Window...
Honestly, I haven't even looked outside this morning!

I am thinking...
about Hurricane Gustav, yuck! I think we've developed a weather pattern for September that I don't even want to think about.

I am thankful for...
My dear husband, a man of great patience who entered JoAnn's this past weekend with me and had much to say on the project we were there for.

From the kitchen...
I'm thinking a salad tonight with cold shrimp and crusty bread.

I am creating...
order. I was in Kansas City, I evacuated, I house-sat for a week, I only returned to the boat late last night and I work the dayshift today. I really need to spend some time with the Mari Hal-O-Jen but really, why should I??? We're just going to get everything ready for another blow again!

I am going...
to embrace exercise again. Too much travel lately, I feel stiff!

I am wearing...
a khaki skort and a green tank with sparkly beads in one slim line about the neck.

I am reading...
Cooking Light

I am hoping...
that I find the time to figure out my new flash for the camera. It's a tall black thing that sits on top of the camera and has lots of buttons. That's all I know.

I am hearing...
The A/C providing lots of white noise that is a perfect B flat. I discovered this frustrating fact while trying to tune my guitar!

Around the home...
Never mind that right now.

One of my favorite things...
A garden fresh tomato. We rarely get them here in the Keys but some friends received a box of tomatoes in the mail from his brother and actually gave me a lovely large Ugli tomato. Wow! An Indiana farm grown tomato! It is so nice and heavy and smells so good...

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
St. Monica - one of my favorites. :)
St. Augustine - her wayward son.

Here is a picture thought or two I am sharing with you:

Have a lovely day!

Home Again
August 19, 2008, 11:05 am

Hal and I are back on the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen this morning, see the sunshine in the picture? Yay! Now if the wind would only die down just a tad, it is still elevated at 20 or 25 knots, I'd guess.

It'll be back to work for Hal this afternoon, the combat divers are still heading out today so he needs to be there and I plan on doing some cleaning and polishing on the innards of this vessel while he's away.

Oh, I did want to update on the shelter situation last night; all of the landbased folks could return home around 6pm and the boaters were then spread out into other rooms. We ended up in a great setup, one kitchen area stocked with coffee pot, microwave and blender, one bedroom with TV, one living room with a 2nd TV and a couch and desk. It was nicer than the rooms we rent on Homestead's Base when we head for the mainland!

Thank you for all the lovely notes and phone calls over the past few days. They meant the world to me!

The Boat is Ready
August 18, 2008, 12:26 pm

We've just arrived at the shelter on Boca Chica. Two nice rooms off of a little kitchenette common area are shared by 2 couples. I've noticed they've been keeping all the marina folk together and all the land-based people from Sigsbee together.

It felt great to get a shower here and clean clothes too! We worked so hard getting the boat ready, here's the before picture...

...and the after!

We had to help our neighbor move out of her slip into a single so we both could center up. The bimini was stripped off, most things below decks were secured and then we taped up all possible seams that might have the potential to leak in a driving rain. The dinghies were taken to the mangroves and tied off and slightly filled with water so they wouldn't flip in high winds.

All accomplished in incredible heat and/or dribbly rain over the past few days. We'll be hunkered down here for awhile, so far the winds haven't gone above 50 or 60 mph but the rain has been incredibly heavy!

Nature Study
Fay, aka the Joker
August 17, 2008, 11:16 am

The official message board for the marina.

The first notice and a scrawled update from Saturday.

The Sunday 1200 Update.

I hope you can read them, no time to rewrite the notices!

Secrets are Sweet Sometimes
August 15, 2008, 12:42 pm

I'm back! Did you miss me?

I so wanted to share my plans to be gone but I could not do that without ruining those plans completely. You see, Marianna and I snuck off to Kansas City to surprise my sister Michelle on her birthday! There we were calmly sitting in a Mongolian BBQ place waiting, waiting, waiting for her to walk in the door with her fiance, Cory, who was totally in on the secret, of course. Once we saw the car pull up Marianna and I dissolved into giggles and had to hide behind the menus. Peeking out we could see the cute couple waiting for the hostess to seat them. Each table they were taken to was unsatisfactory till there was just one left in that area - OURS!

Michelle finally looked at us and was she ever shocked!

It was a superb beginning to a wonderful trip because not only were we celebrating her birthday but also her engagement to Cory! Loads of bridal magazines were marked up, yards and yards of silks and satins were slipped over her head and I think we might even have convinced her that certain non-poofy veils are attractive and charming!

I'd love to share loads of pictures with you but that camera has stayed in the Midwest with a certain junior photographer who opted to extend her summer vacation a tad. When Marianna returns I imagine she'll have a few grand tales to tell of her own! Till then the single photo I can share was sent to me by Michelle 3 days before she sauntered into that Mongolian joint.

Isn't it lovely?

In other news, my InBox has raged out of control, if I owe you an email please know I'll be trying to tame that monster in the next week!

Ignatian Chicken & a Tomato Salad
August 1, 2008, 4:32 pm

Mary M has a lovely post over at Catholic Cuisine suggesting a Feast in honor of Saint Ignatius.

We enjoyed the Chicken with Parsley and Garlic so very much that I thought I'd share a few of the photos today.

Basque styled recipes seem to call for lots of parsley - yum!

Marianna got into the act, smushing the garlic, parsley, olive oil mix onto the chicken breasts enthusiastically.

Still smushing away.

Lovely evening to grill, if one ignores the mosquitoes!!!

The additional herbal mix was tossed over a sliced tomato for a refreshing salad.

And then I stopped taking pictures and ate.

Thanks, Mary, it was delicious!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!

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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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