Thursday, May 24, 2007

Week of May 21-25th

Can you believe we've had 5-9 ft seas for nearly 3 weeks now? Insane, but I have to view it as God's blessing upon us so that we're not tempted to get distracted with house moving & minor remodeling.
Here are some before/after pics for your enjoyment. Tomorrow, we pack up the Uhaul. Our boat has made the trip today and is already nestled nicely next to the house. I will be without internet service until May 30th.

Here the boys insisted they have new paint and so we brought it back to a more manageable blue. That is NASA theme border on top. Yes, we did let them write on the walls one day. The looked at me like I was utterly insane. Make sure if you do this, you prime over anything sharpie. It will bleed through the paint.

Here you see a Lavender hallway bath, shared by the boys. We cannot deal with that, so we brought it back more neutral and will decorate with color in our accessories. On one of the walls, I'll do a 11x14 mural of Mutton & Yellowtail Snapper.
Our LR/DR/Kitchen combo was also much too dark.
Here it is seen with their furniture still in it. The tan wall looks light with the flash and lights on but it is closer to a camel color. The evergreen wall didn't work for us, nor the border.

We went with a Coral Reef blue/green (looks more green than it is). We mounted our Mahi replica onto it. The trim is removed, but it will be eventually replaced with white bead-board on the bottom half to give it that beachy feel. As you can see in the background with the kitchen, we went with a much lighter sand/shell around the rest of the room to allow for colorful accents. Can you see the difference between the original color and the new color? To the left of that cabinet, there is unfinished work.
One of the most dramatic changes was in the master bedroom. It felt like we were entering a cave. I love burgundy, but not everywhere in this huge room.
Again, the doors & trim are not painted white yet.
Here is our Master bath. It needs some serious loving. I don't know who thought pink and evergreen were a good match. Very odd selection. The green is already in the garbage. After we move in, we'll continue next with this room. The color will be the same sand that is in the master. I'd like to eventually put some bead-board in here too.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Week of May 20th -

No big fish - partly because the seas are still high and partly because we bought a house on Friday. Jack and I are renovating a few things before we move all of us over to the new place. The kids are having a blast entertaining themselves while we slave over cans of Glidden paint.

That white you see on the fore wall is primer to start back at a neutral color.
I'll add more pictures as we complete more work.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's a good time to move because the seas are 9 ft. It went up 3 ft just since dinner. Good grief!


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lime-Grilled Mahi Mahi Steaks

Many times I see homeschooling moms requesting ways to cook fish. This is one of our favorites.

* 1/4 c. fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* clove garlic, finely chopped
* 1 tsp soy sauce
* 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard (or yella)
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp freshly ground blk pepper
* 4-6 mahi or tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick

First, preheat grill. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Brush the mahi mahi with about 1/3 of the dressing and reserve the rest.

Meanwhile, get your crab cakes thawing and baking. I've tried my best to homemake these and I cannot duplicate anything as delicious as these Margaritaville Crab Cakes. Follow instructions & cook at least 20 min, with basting 2x with Smart Balance (or Butter) before and mid-way through cooking.

As you get ready to put the steaks (fish) on the grill, you'll also throw the crab cakes into the broiler to give them a slight crunchy top. Jack says that all good chefs put a little crunchy crust on everything. I have to agree.
So, back to the recipe..... cook fish until the steaks start to flake or break it to make sure it is white through and through. Rebaste the fish with a little bit more of the Lime Sauce (approx another 1/3).

Now you're ready to serve hot fish, crunch crab cakes and add whatever veggies your families love. We happen to do a lot of salads or corn on the cob.
Take the remaining Sauce and pour over steaks. I promise this will make the fish melt in your mouth. We have decided to swear off fish restaurants because we simply cannot get anything as good as what we can perfect in our own kitchen. The key is to start with very fresh fish.

Bon appetit!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Fishing

We love to fish on Friday because that is Jack's start to the weekend. Well, between 7 ft waves and rain, I think we'll pass. Waves were up to 18 ft earlier in the week and expected to be at 2 ft tomorrow for a tournament, but.........who knows.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

THIS could save your life!! You need one of these if you fish, hike, hunt or explore in isolated areas. We decided today to invest in this ResQFix 406 w/ GPS model. It has a notification time of 2-15 minutes and will let the Coast Guard know your GPS coordinates within 110 yds of your location (hearing distance). Every minute counts when you're the bait!!

An EPIRB is meant to help rescuers locate you in an emergency situation, and these radios have saved many lives since their creation in the 1970s. Boaters are the main users of EPIRBs.
A modern EPIRB is a sophisticated device that contains:
A 5-watt radio transmitter operating at 406 MHz (see How the Radio Spectrum Works for details on frequencies)
A 0.25-watt radio transmitter operating at 121.5 MHz
A GPS receiver Once activated, both of the radios start transmitting. Approximately 24,000 miles (39,000 km) up in space, a GOES weather satellite in a geosynchronous orbit can detect the 406-MHz signal. Embedded in the signal is a unique serial number, and, if the unit is equipped with a GPS receiver, the exact location of the radio is conveyed in the signal as well. If the EPIRB is properly registered, the serial number lets the Coast Guard know who owns the EPIRB. Rescuers in planes or boats can home in on the EPIRB using either the 406-MHz or 121.5-MHz signal.
Older EPIRBs did not contain the GPS receiver, so the GOES satellite received only a serial number. To locate the EPIRB, another set of satellites (like the TIROS-N satellite) orbiting the planet in a low polar orbit could pick up the signal as it passed overhead. This would give a rough fix on the location, but it took several hours for a satellite to come into range.

We already have a hand-held GPS and 2-way radio (both waterproof) that can be grabbed easily if time permits. With the EPIRB purchase, they gifted us with a huge waterproof, floatable bag to store all our gear, like whistles, flares, mirrors, etc. It's called a "ditch" bag, which only adds to my adrenalin rush. The final item remaining on our To-Buy emergency list is an inflatable raft. This would make a disaster so much easier on us.

We say, "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Jack had a friend survive 30 hours on the hull of his overturned boat during an oncoming Tropical Storm, blowing 6-8 ft seas. An EPIRB, ditch bag and prayer helped him to survive the ordeal. He even had water & food packed.

Think safety!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

We went to a Nudist Beach!! (We did not see this sign but it was too funny not to include in this post)

Unbeknownst to me, our little afternoon of exploration in the city north of our new home, landed us at a popular nudist, sometimes called "Naturalist" beach.
We're driving along, enjoying the Wildlife Refuge's animals. We saw a beautiful Roseate Spoonbill. (click it.) We saw sandpipers and other skittish birds. We were hoping to see a wild gator, but didn't come across one. We hopped back in the car and see that there is a beach ahead of us. We paid the small fee to enter the park.

We're driving along another few miles (it is very secluded out this way). Our view of NASA's VAB building (Vehicle Assembly Building) is getting better and we're seeing the 2 launching towers. Life couldn't seem more interesing, but I was wrong!

All of a sudden, I'm seeing multiple signs about Brevard County's ordinance for No Nudity. Hmmm, that's funny. I've never seen that at Jetty park or anywhere else we've been. So, I asked Jack about it. He confesses that it used to be a nudist beach but that it isn't any more. I'm totally trusting Jack at this point and so we get out of the car. Everything seems fine. We enjoyed several minutes watching surf fishermen bringing in fish and kids building castles. We got back in the car and several miles later, got out of the car at Haulover Canal to see the Manatee Lookout. As if the manatee were on the clock, he showed up and gave us all a quick show. Granted, not a dolphin (porpoise) or seal show, but a manatee show none-the-less. We hopped in the car and headed home, totally thrilled with our new discovery.

I got on the computer, inbetween thunderstorms, and looked up Playalinda info & photos to write about it, since I didn't bring my camera. Here is a little clip that I found:


At the Cape Canaveral National Seashore in Brevard County, The Central Florida Naturists organization says "The Brevard County anti-nudity ordinance remains (for now) in effect in the face of past and ongoing legal challenges, the strong public demand for nude recreation is still there and the people still come. If you come to Playalinda Beach for naturist recreation, please stay north of crossover 13. You may wish to be watchful for sheriff deputies. However the National Park Service rangers will not ticket you for simple nudity within the traditional naturist area as they do not enforce county ordinances."
In the past, arrests were made here, but recent reports say it's safe now.

It's safe now??!!! ??? Safe for who? Naturalist, I know. But not to safe for 7 and 10 yr old boys who are very curious as to what makes the difference between men and women. I think our wonderful little discovery shall remain a mystery to our family/ boys because I cannot chance them getting full frontal or back nudity. We already have enough excitement with thongs from time to time on the regular beaches. *This* is why we try to do beaches in the off-season. ha ha.

Above is a beautiful arial of Playalinda beach & Atlantic ocean (far right top corner) and Mosquito Lagoon (center body of water). This all lies on the Northern edge of Cape Canaveral.
Take your kids to the beach, but be careful with which one!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Blue Moooooooon

I got the call about 6:15 that the guys were only a few miles from home. I begged for info and there wasn't much said with all their exhaustion. They were out of words. Tomorrow, I'll post more when I hear a full report.

For now, the short report is that the water was like glass, as seen here with the picture of Bill holding Mike's mahi. Mahi actually don't like to feed on a smooth surface. Jack said the morning was slow, but as the wind kicked up, so did the bite.

There was a 2nd very large dolphin that was caught by John and it was quite the fight. They got the fish all the way to the boat side and the line snapped and so it swam off. They were able to see that one enter the spread (of lure/bait choices) and take the bait.
On a 3rd mahi, that one made it into the cooler (making it 2 altogether). I'm guessing this fish to be around 15 lbs. Nice cow mahi mahi. I'm holding it back at the house, but I did not catch it.

Interesting note: They went out to 350 ft of water (approx 40 miles) because it was so smooth in the Gulf Stream. Jack said they saw sailfish several times but none of them were interested in the ballyhoo & assorted lures they were offering. They trolled west-bound back towards land to 130 ft. They saw the most action at 200 ft of water.

Also, this was the first day after a full moon, which may have added to the difficulty of enticing the morning bite. They may have been full from feeding all night long.

I'm adding this last picture to show you the most beautiful blue in the dolphin (mahi mahi). They can change their colors while attacking prey or during the fight. This deep blue is my favorite but I saw a purple spotted dolphin at the tournament that was gorgeous too. This is actually the same skin of the one I was holding in my hands above. From looking up direction, it was lt. green & rather dull. From this top view, it was gorgeous blue. It is a testament to God's perfect camoflague.

Smooth seas,

We all have priorities. Everybody's list will look different. For us, we spent the past couple weeks getting house-buying paperwork finished. We hope to close next week at the soonest. So, while my priorities are to get the house packed, Jack's priorities are to get his blue water therapy and bring home as many dolphin, wahoo & tuna that he can. He took a crew of coworkers with him out to & beyond the Gulf Stream. I'm so excited as to what he may come home with. He took all that stinky bait out of the freezer because I don't want to have to move it in the weeks to come.

The boys finished up their testing on Wednesday, so we've enjoyed taking the rest of this week to find boxes and fill them. We hit jackpot this morning. Tomorrow is our local homeschooling book sale. (Always a fun event for me - the teacher.)

Yesterday, I helped Jack prepare for his trip. I focused on the cuddy cabin & oil tank. He worked on riggings, rods, reels and those little clasps for holding his trophy flags on the outrigger lines. It is similar to one's putting a ribbon on the mailbox when a woman gives birth. You are announcing to the world that you've got that species in your cooler. The guys have big aspirations of flying multiple flags.

Check back tomorrow to see what the catch of the day is.

Tight lines,