Monday, October 29, 2007


Noel is going to give us a week-long delay on re-painting the boat. I feel like we've been stuck in a near-daily soaking pattern. I'm so thankful for the rain when I compared our situation to Georgia/Alabama's drought or the California fires. However, more than a time delay, Noel will give us concern & prayer because we don't need huge gusts of wind while FIRST CHOICE is still on wooden blocks.
Praying for those in Puerto Rico, Haiti & DR while they are already in the midst of the storm also.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Even with not feeling well, my Dad still went out fishing this past week. THIS is where I get my love of fishing. It started in the cold north. Lake Erie and the Niagara River were my original fishing grounds as a child. Dad took us fishing all the time. I learned to bait worms on my hooks. I have a lot of fond memories of fishing. We also took vacations in Canada where we girls learned to catch minnows with oatmeal and fish in the boat houses. Our other favorite vacation spot was in Maine where we spent hours catching crabs with old fish heads tied to a string. Our record was something like 118 crabs in a single day. Our rental was next to a Seafood Market and we would pick out fresh lobsters for dinner. Those were great days, weren't they Dad?

Now, my parents are semi-retired on the great Lake Lanier and enjoy fishing almost weekly. One day, Mom and I were talking outboard engines and I thought to myself, "Gee, not many girls can do this with their moms." My Dad and I compare fish tales -the one that got away.

The picture of Dad is from last week. This picture of me is from Thanksgiving 2005. I got a double-header fishing with Jack and Dad that day.
Happy Fishing,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ree the Pioneer Woman has her romantic & rustic Marlboro Man (see link to the right). But I have Capt Jack, who can steam up windows too. A face of character. A heart of gold. Determination. I couldn't help myself asking him to hold up a second to capture this shot. He is buffing the new paint job and he is dusted all over. Who says my man isn't buff? Maybe we just have 2 different definitions of buff.

He ain't a cowboy but he's a Florida boy through and through.

And he gave me a carbon copy of himself, as a gift.

Robin, not Ree


We will have plenty of time to reflect on our next steps as it is raining today. There is a chance that we may end up having a break in the rain by afternoon. I must say, I'm liking the shine on the boat. You can even see yourself in it.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Here is Capt Jack early Wed morning. Boat was washed & dried. Then we ran a tack cloth over it for any miniscule debris. I got to play human stapler and bind together 2 big pieces of plastic w/ metal pieces. We tented it next.
Our paint is called Snow White. Look at the difference!!

The wind gave us much grief, pulling & pushing the plastic tent and our stakes underneath it. Oh what a mess!! Plastic fell into the sides of the boat. We had some expected runs in the paint that are to be wet-sanded later.

Jack emergency cut the plastic tent from the boat to prevent worse damage. Overall, we're very happy with the new paint.

Paint takes 6-8 hrs to dry. We did a little more work on the trailer and currently, Jack is cleaning up the garage now. I'm not sure what is in store for us tomorrow. Here are the options 1) buff out the newly painted area 2) paint the underside.
Check back tomorrow and be surprised. (Yeah, right)
If you're looking for Shuttle Party or Stephanie pics, see my Raising Fishermen blog.
Happy Fishing for those who can get out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Jack may have to work tomorrow so there won't be any progress on the boat for another day or two. So.... I thought I'd continue on with another series of gardening photos.
This is my aerial view of the garden. See how big my cauliflower row is getting.

Here is a little bit better photo of the front of the garden. Half-row Lettuce in front w/ a small patch of green onions. Cauliflower behind that. Stepping stones. Then, Carrots, followed by herbs (back right) and Peppers (center) & Tomatos (bottom right corner).

Behind everything else are these Br. Sprouts which are going to grow over 3 ft tall before they are ready to harvest. I placed the stakes in the ground for when they begin to need support from all that weight.
We had a lot of rain this week, so I see the plants really took off in growth.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

SMALL CORRECTION: We never did get around to painting the boat. We had a line of t-storms hit around dinner time on Thursday. Friday morning, Jack sanded down the primer around the entire exterior. We moved the blocks under the boat to prime those areas. By noon, the weathermen were saying that the line of super-cell storms were coming by nightfall with possible tornadoes. It was a good stopping point for the boat and then shop & relax for the evening with family.

Sometimes you simply can't fight God's timing. Maybe next week will be better humidity for painting anyhow. The weatherman said we broke heat records and the humidity was like that of a rainforest. We're having unseasonably warm October weather.

See to see what we had for early dinner.

Happy Fishing,

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Here is our plastic tent to prevent overspray from hitting anybody's property.

Not my favorite portrait of myself but I'm out there working.

Jack priming too. The gas is obnoxious so we're wearing special masks.

It won't be long and her exterior will be totally repainted!!!! Yeah!!!!
Joyful inspite of the humidity & 150 deg temps in the tent,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight.

Here is my older "baby" under a 6,000 lb boat, sanding the bottom of it. It was because of his faith and courage that I was able to get past my fear of being near the boat without a trailer under it.

Here he is hand-sanding the sides and edges. He was a big help today in preparing the exterior of the boat for priming tomorrow.
We are to have faith like a child and certainly today, my son showed me that I could never have as much faith as he does. He trusts God and he trusts his father's judgement more than his mother's worries. At lunch time, he came in the door saying that he just loves his daddy so much that he didn't care if that meant working hard. He only wanted to be by his side.
What a beautiful picture of how every Christian should think of God the Father as well as how every son should love his Daddy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I wanted to introduce everyone to my new family blog. Since this blog gets many hits from strangers wanting to read about fish, I've decided to move my personal info to another blog entirely.

To keep on the theme of fishing & sea life, I've decided to call it Raising Fishermen. We hope you decide to join us over there too. There is a link to it in our right-hand column.

As for the boat, the update is that we plan on sanding & doing fiberglass repairs on Wed & Thurs and if all goes well, paint the exterior on Friday. We are praying for low humidity, 80-90 deg temps, no wind and no rain for the best conditions to paint.

Happy Fishing,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

3 point - BLOCKING

The first thing I want to say is Thank you to God for keeping everybody safe and alive during this process. This was NOT an easy process. Jack and his friend are professionals with large equipment and aircraft. They both have lots of experience with boats. Please do not attempt this if you are unsure of what you are doing.

First picture has the hoist w/ 2 chains to the back end for a safety. They also used a 3 ton jack for moving the boat off the rollers. Wooden blocks were inserted to stand the boat up on the back end. Out safety hoist was 'chucked' to stabilize and was left in place through the entire process.

Here we are a couple hrs later. Having all these rollers and tandem (2) axel (wheels) trailer increased our difficulty. The trailer also provides a certain amount of 'safety catch' and once, the boat dropped onto it. It took my heart about 15 min to stabilize.

What you don't see is that we also had a 20 ton jack and my hair graying through this process.

In the bottom part of the 2nd picture, the guys have given up on the rollers, which are to be removed when converting the trailer to a wooden bunk style. So, those back rollers were cut off about the 3rd to 4th hour of the process.

In the 3rd set of pics, the trailer is gone and the boat is on 3 points. However, that front set of blocks is much too far back to storing this way. At this point, I had to walk away. I had the boys go for a bike ride while I walked up the street. To see Jack and John crawl under the boat without the safety of the trailer was too much for me. Even our neighbors came out to watch the final 15 min.

When I came back from my walk, the blocks were repositioned and we sent John home for rest. Jack and I cleaned up the area. We retarped (blue) that entire boat to prevent rain from leaking in. At this point, nobody is allowed in the boat.
Our goal is to have it sanded & painted in 2 wks. Yesterday, Jack ordered 2 'bunks' for the trailer from the area sawmill. This will prevent further black-mark scuffing that those rollers were doing to the bottom of our boat. The wooden bunks will be covered with a special carpet to prevent paint damage.

Last but not least..... my poor garage. It has taken the brunt of this project. I have made a list of the equipment and boat pieces that have taken over any footspace. This doesn't even include the stuff that I moved back to the shed.
Jack is back to work for a few days so I can rest some and color my hair back to its normal color. I'm sure I'll have a few more anxiety attacks as Jack worked on the bottom side of the boat these couple of weeks. I'll have to pull out some Scriptures on peace and assurance for those times.
Happy Fishing & boating,

Thursday, October 11, 2007


GREEN - I walked outside to find my blue pool turned green. I have to run to the pool store for YELLOW OUT to kill the algea bloom. It is now back to a cloudy blue.

DARK GREEN - I picked my first green bell pepper. I also picked a couple of my tallest basil sprigs and made homemade PESTO!!

BLACK AND BLUE - The other day I rammed my shoulder into the tongue of the boat trailer after bending over to get an electrical cord. The trailer won. I feel like I have some good bruising going on although it is hard to see and I'll spare you a picture. Also, my eldest son will be sporting some colorful bruising on his elbows and knees after wiping out on his bike. Blood was minimal but some skin is missing.


Somebody is riding no hands.

One even loves NY. (I force him to wear this, since he is a Floridian thru and thru)

RED, WHITE and BLUE - We saw an American Bald Eagle flying over our house this afternoon. What an honor to have one live so close to us.

WHITE - Jack is totallyy dusted over in white. He sanded down both sides of the boat today. He will be looking for any nicks that need filling tomorrow. Also, we are having our friend John B come over to help take the boat off the trailer and put it on the wooden blocks.

Here is Jackson's new Fall Harvest picture. I always thought ORANGE & PURPLE went well with his fawn & white coat.

PRAYING tonight for Renee's adoptions to go through the Ghana courts tomorrow. May your light shine upon all.
Happy Fishing,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

GARDEN update

Here is an overall view of my garden from the 2nd story of our boys' fort. Click on it for better view.

I started these plants from seed. The Brussels are very slow growing but they look strong at this point.

One side of my row of Cauliflower looks better than the other although there is no reason for that. They too look good.

My first green Bell Pepper is ready for picking. It is probably over 5" long, but not really filled out. My yellow Bell Pepper plant has 2 small peppers starting.

Not much progress is going on with the boat until Thursday & Friday. The weather here has been perfect & low humidity. The blue sky and lack of wind gave Jack and I both serious fishing withdrawls today. I'm sure it was a good day to be on the water. For now, I have to settle for playing in my garden. can be very helpful if you're trying to begin a garden in the Sunshine state. They say that October is a great month for strawberries. Where in the world am I going to put strawberries? I need strawberries. I use strawberries almost daily in my smoothies.

Happy October!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Jack is able to attend his first CFOA mtg tonight now that he is on day-shift. They are learning bait-rigging and having a fish fry. Yum.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Friday, October 05, 2007

Proverbs 12:10

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Above is one of my all-time favorite pictures of Jackson, our beloved boxer. Jackson has been with our family for over 7 years. He is my 3rd child in many ways. He thinks he is human and has little understanding of a dog's life. It has been very rewarding to have him be a part of our lives. One couldn't ask for a better companion.

I suppose, that's why it's been so hard to come to grips that my boy is getting old. More than old. He's sick. We saw a specialty surgeon vet on Monday who gave us some ideas of what we're looking at. After I heard the diagnosis and prognosis, I had to let that go emotionally and then spiritually. It took time but I had to do it to restore my relationship with Jackson. He doesn't want me to pity him. He is still full of life in his heart. He's still #1 cat chaser (never harms) in his mind although it is no longer wise for him to sprint. He still wants face to face hugs with his mom and dad, although it is no longer wise to stand on his back legs. He still wants people food in every bowl of food from now until the end. He still needs for mommy to spend those quiet moments rubbing his ears, his chest and his boxer bum. He still needs somebody to wipe up those 6" long drool-sicles from his mouth.

In the midst of his full body massage today, I saw a dog that didn't feel pain. He didn't collapse into a split. He merely repositioned himself time and time again for another workover. He's not ready to let go of his body nor tired of living each day. I have the same boy I had before I walked into the vet's on Monday morning.

The best thing that I could probably do for my dear friend is to listen to him and what his needs are. Sure, there are a couple little things that I need to do now, but mostly, this is the time to listen. The best way I can honor "regarding the life" of the Proverb is to let Jackson make all the calls and for me to consider every day a gift from God. I am called to love him through the good times and the bad.

Psalm 5:11

But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.

Here is a picture I took of Jackson today, quite content with life and the curiousities that it holds. I have found peace and joy residing back in my soul again. God fills me with His strength and gives me hope in each day, regardless of any timeline or any bumps in the road.

Back to the sea next time,


Thursday, October 04, 2007

I cannot tell you how good it feels to get to this day. It arrived much sooner than I thought. The outside of the transom was done being fiberglas filled & sanded. It's time to load the spray paint gun.

As a note, spider cracks may look like nothing but if they are not properly dug out and refilled with new fiberglass, they will come back to haunt you. Now the area is restrengthened.

Here Jack is applying the first coat of primer to the entire backside. We were blessed that the wind was cooperative and blew everything to the north (into the woods). The lovebugs were blown away by a side fan. We didn't have any major storms come through - Yipee!!
Prior to priming, it was thoroughly cleaned with acetone. Ladies, we couldn't use enough acetone in a lifetime for our fingernails for what this project call for! We stuffed the 3 main drain holes with rags to prevent primer from going inside. The 4th (bottom drain) was taped over. That black tube hanging down holds all the wires attaching to the engine. It was impossible to remove.

We will not be painting the boat until the entire outside is completely primed. We are in the process of trying to secure a 'bay' to paint in. We found a place not too far away that rents by the day. If so, we'll rent out 2-3 days and paint all at once.

Me...... I pretty much stayed inside the whole day except to take the pictures. Too many wifely duties to do.

PS: Feel free to double-click on any pictures to expand them.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Rebuilt Foot is DONE!!
Monday, we received the call that our engine's foot was finished being rebuilt inside and out. In this process. We shortened the entire piece by 5 inches to increase efficiency in the water and decrease drag. We should be able to hit plane faster and increase speed by a few mph. I wish I had an easy link to provide you to explain with pictures what "getting on plane" means. Wikipedia has a lot of great info on propulsion, propellers and the math behind it. (Photo: Jack built a stand to protect the foot. This will later attach to the bottom of the engine
Also, on Sunday evening, we were walking our boxer and ran into a neighbor who had these pressure treated pieces of wood he was getting rid of. What a big blessing. Not only are these hard to find, but they're expensive. These will end up under the boat at some point of painting.
Here is a picture of the box of parts that were replace. While some of the rings look in good shape, there is no time like the present to have it all replaced. Saltwater is a very harsh environment and it eats EVERYTHING!!!

This pieces is a water impeller. It turns inside the water pump that sits in the foot.
Here is a water filter unit that pulls the water out of the air compressor pump. This is very important as to not contaminate the paint. I also included a picture of the air compressor we borrowed from Jack's coworker.

Sorry that there is no order or special category for these things. I just went around the garage and thought I'd record what was new. Jack has W, Th, F off for his weekend and so he was up at 4:30 working in the garage. He cleared off his workbench and then varnished (clear) these teak outrigger holders. There is a metal insert on the inside.

(pictured - insert where fishing poles are stored)

For today, he is busy sanding the transom (backside). He has filled holes that are no longer necessary. That huge engine bracket dug some grooves which needed repairing. In a couple of hours, Jack's friend and former coworker will come here. He owns a nice side business, GRAPHICS!! Todd is coming to take measurements of the side of the boat and present us with some design options. Jack gave Todd a great job reference with a local company and so in return, Todd is providing a lot of time and talents to make those nice finishing touches to the boat. We are still playing around with changing the name of our boat. Currently, she is named FIRST CHOICE and we like that. Still, we want to make sure we've exhausted any other good ideas before Todd makes the graphics. I'm hoping that at some point, I will be able to do the fishy artwork. Right now, that point can't come soon enough. It is tough turning a wrench in 90 deg heat, having mosquitos eat you alive and lovebugs fly into your face. And that isn't even counting all the bad hair days I'm having!!

I'd better go and remove more teak & shelves.

Catch a fish for me!