Tuesday, November 27, 2007


As several of you know, we had to make an emergency trip to Ft.Walton Beach greater area to see Capt Jack's very ill grandmother.

I wanted to share some beautiful pictures with you. I'm not ready for words yet. I'm too exhausted.


Here is Grandma Mary & Jack. They have the most amazing bond. I'll share that another day.

The view from Aunt Paula's kitchen. Wouldn't you love to cook & do dishes to this? I know she is very grateful for such a view. This is sunrise.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Capt Jack got us a new camera on Friday morning so we could get better fish pictures, but for now, I'm using it for garden shots.

See my baby Brussell Sprouts bud developing? We're close to 90 days at this point.

Here is one of my green tomatos. The original is spectacular as it glistens in the sun.

I call this one the onion forest. The dirt is perfectly focused but you feel so closed in by the onion tops.

My sister took this picture of my full garden. Wow, good shot sis!! It looks overgrown but it isn't. Everything is very healthy & happy.
My friend that gave me my original Hurricane Cherry tomatoes came over tonight and loved seeing how that plant has surved another few years at somebody else's home.

This leaf close-up reminded me a bit of a Christmas tree of the tomato kind. In the original, the whole leave is glittered up by the sun dancing on those tiny hairs. You can almost see a tree image in pic.
Friday, Jack got his new MAKO 248 placards in the mail. Yeah. They are adhesive and he did put one of them on the boat today. I have a pic but forgot to downsize it. I'll show it next time I blog. A man from the Classic Mako site did all the engraving to look very close to the original set that were hardened, broken & faded from 20 years of sun damage.
Last but not ever least, please remember Capt Jack's Grandma Mary in your prayers. Her time left here on earth is short. We are heart-broken as she is near & dear to our hearts. She was born & raised in Key West & partly the Dry Tortugas. She led an amazing 97 years of life.
Happy Fishing,

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Here are some preliminary pictures as she was running today. Overall, we had little hiccups & she should run flawlessly next start-up.

She got a new water pump put in. Then, Jack had to resize the water pick-up tube to fit the new foot length. (Remember, we went from a 25" length down to 20".)
After that was all put together, she had a minor leak. Everything was pulled off again and reset-up and done again. Minor leak the 2nd go around. (Stream below words shouldn't be there; stream on left side should be stronger)

Third time was the charm & sealant was also applied. We will let it all harden overnight and try again the next open day. We have our holiday company coming tomorrow, so there may be little work done on the boat. We will be having our famous Lady's Bouillabaisse seafood soup. Can't wait to hit the fish market and see what's good behind the case. Be sure to join me on Raising Fishermen blog to see those pictures. We made this earlier in the summer and I couldn't wait to have it again.
Happy Thanksgiving All!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For those of you that haven't been following along, I planted a garden the end of August. It is my first Fall garden and first for this new home. 8'x16' of fun.

I am pleased to report that I have dozens of tomatoes the sizes of apples waiting to turn red. The pic on the right are full size toms not cherries. Count 'em.....4 on 1 vine!!

They have outgrown their cages & I've got huge stakes nearby to attach the long branches to.

The cherry tomatoes are also sitting there, probably 100 of them on the verge of turning. My carrots lack another week or two before I can start picking them.

I'm up to my chin in green peppers already.

My green sweet bell pepper plant has been throwing tubular peppers. (right)My yellow plant is throwing green bells - perfect, I might add, other than the color. (left)

My Brussel Sprouts are just budding on the larger plants and hope to have them grown in another 4-6 weeks.

I do believe these guys are to grow another foot or more before they're ready for harvest. Maybe Christmas?

Cauliflower is happy but no white curd yet. Soon!! These plants are over 15" tall.

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!
With Thanks,

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Well, most of it...... the rest gets added later once we have power attached to it again.

It has been a long 3 months of waiting for this day to come. I don't even know if I have words to express the long exhaustion up unto this point. The funniest, no... saddest, part comes when friends and family get all excited that we'll be fishing again soon and I have to tell them that we aren't. Now that we're [primarily] done with the exterior, we'll be restoring the interior parts of the boat. Theoretically, this should go faster for a couple reasons. First, there is less to issues getting to it (i.e. removing engine, blocking the boat). Everything has already been removed. Its ready to be worked right now. Secondly, there is less damage on those areas. We want to address some spider cracks on the cuddy top and a couple nicks on the topsides. Our main fix will be the helm area to make the like new again. Third, it should be quicker because we've learned from out painting mistakes the first time around. We lost a good week or so due to repainting, retenting, & resanding. Not fun. Last, we lost 3 wks due to consistent rain during Jack's 'weekends'. Florida has officially begun it's dry season. Threats of hurricanes are gone. Tropical fronts are replaced by cold fronts and sunny days. Thanksgiving will slow us down a little but not much. We are looking forward to having family over and eating great seafood with them.
Also, I caught these two together when I reappeared in the garage. I always knew there was another love in Jack's life. ha ha.
Electrical lines & hoses all get hooked up sometime next week.
Happy Fishing & Thanksgiving,

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Boring title but I wanted to be easy to search in my personal archives. What I *wanted* to call it was "Less Junk to Trip On in my Garage."
Today was fairly easy yet exciting as FIRST CHOICE is starting to look like a boat that will be used again one day. The engine bracket is back on and so are a few other little parts on the transom (back part of the boat). It was so much easier bolting things on vs removing all those corroded parts. Everything was sealed up to prevent saltwater leakage getting back into the wood.
Tomorrow, Jack and our eldest have a Father/Son day (see Raising Fishermen). Since they have already changed Jack's schedule again, he now has Saturday off. This change will permit us to have an extra day to put the engine back onto the bracket, on the boat.

I'm so excited. I may get to see floor in the garage very soon!! (just kidding.... sort of) We had dinner out yesterday at our favorite "by the water" restaurant. It made us all homesick for being on the water. It couldn't be a more perfect weather type day. The boat lot was full of trucks and trailers. One day.............. soon.

Happy Fishing,


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Webcam video I made of my new favorite song by Jody Brown Indian Family put to pictures of one of our fishing trips out of Port Canaveral. We were aboard our boat, chasing down manta rays which were holding cobia on their backs. Jack hooks into a 43 lb cobia, lands him and at the end, you're left wondering if he "jumped out of the boat." I just love the words.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We're all coming down with Jack's cold so we opted Friday to stay in the house most the day. By the late afternoon, Jack was ready to do something so he went outside to sand on the transom.

He first used 1000 grit sandpaper & water lightly to buff out any imperfections. We had a run on the corner and then some bugs were attracted to the paint fumes. "Orange peel" looks like it sounds and can have varying degrees in your paint job. Mostly ours was minimal but still you want to wet sand over to remove any of that to make the paint smooth as glass. When that was done, he went over it again with 1500 grit.

Last, he used some buffing compound to bring out the shine. He has some really nice machine that does all this quickly. See, I can even put some lipstick on in the mirror.

Now, the boat will sit and await her engine bracket and engine to be placed back onto her either Wed or Thurs. Jack's schedule is going through a slight tweaking so things are up in the air.

Happy Fishing,


Thursday, November 08, 2007

On the road again .........(Can you hear Willie Nelson?)

First off, because I was cut off in my morning blog (or was that yesterday?), I wanted to say that this guy worked his tail off yesterday helping to ready the trailer for today's task. Not only does he look like his father, he sure has his father's mechanical sensibility. That's 100% manpower in his facial expression.
And this lady......... she did a lot of work on this project to get to this point as well. Here I am holding the ends in place for Jack to secure.

Right before this photo was taken, we almost had a near catastrophe. Look closely and you can see the trailer wheels near the front of the boat, right? Ok, when those were up another foot or two (to the right), our friend John was under the center of the boat. The back end had 2 blocks, one on each side. We also had a hoist for *SAFETY* attached to the back end. As Jack went to raise the hoist about mid-way, the boat weight shifted forward instead of backwards and then it wobbled back and forth on the backend. That doesn't seem like much but it was. If there hadn't been a heavy hoist holding stable (that's why it is a "safety"), it would have surely rolled to the far side and killed John. Jack says it wasn't that bad, but I tell you, it was. I felt a massive heart-pounding like elephants running across Africa and then hyperventilated. I bent over as if I had run a mile in 3 minutes and then felt myself going into tunnel vision. Thank goodness I didn't embarass myself and pass out. That's when I came inside and emailed Renee for prayer. I could no longer be useful to the guys, nor effective in prayer. I was a mess, as I cooked lunch. Thank you Renee for your calming prayers.
This "thing" had to be lowered to match with the new seating on the trailer bunks. The wench is the round thing in front but I don't know what they call that section with the new orange bumpers. Sorry, I really don't know *everything*. ha ha

The black arrow represents where we had originally placed the bunks, knowing we'd have to adjust once it was placed. The red arrow represents the new location. Because we still have another 500 lbs of engine to throw on the back end, all boats need the extra foot of support there rather than at the front. Click on the photo to enlarge. Those are pressure-treated 13'x3"x13" wooden bunks, covered in carpet.
Here I am, very tired. Nobody left around for a few minutes, so I set the timer on the camera. Jack came out in the final beeps to see me pose. Whew am I glad it is over and I didn't even puke or take a valium. I went right inside and finished my last 50 pages of "Rebel with a Cause". I was left wanting more book. Amazing testimony to "God Room".

Here she is finally back on the trailer. Jack worked another hour or so after this point to add more bolts to the bunks. She is riding more level in her trailer bunks now too, which was something we had hoped to accomplish with the makeover.

It has been a long 2 months of work to go from removing the engine to being done with painting the exterior & renovating the trailer. It has been trying but moreso, a faith-building experience. I had to get out of my comfort zone and trust God to keep us safe under the boat as we sanded and painted. And much like childbirth with all that pain, discomfort, mental angst and prayer, it all was made worth it to see it finally done. It was like when the doctors hand you your baby. Everything melts away and soon it will be faded entirely. In the end, you're left with those warm & fuzzy feelings, only over an accomplishment vs a precious baby.
I can't wait to see the engine back on her next week.

Blogspot is having trouble uploading pics so this will have to do for now. Those big wooden bunks were carpeted and held down with stainless steel screws to handle the salt water.
Then, the guys changed out the front 2 rollers to non-marking ones. I helped too but my picture wouldn't load. All those years of wrapping Christmas gifts paid off in making those corners perfect on the bunks.
Boat goes on the trailer today!! It's coming together. Praise God some of the worst is behind us now. Engine goes on after that because the hoist has to go back to its owner.
Happy Fishing,

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Popped out of the clouds
Flying over the Mosquito Lagoon water system & Wildlife Refuge

Approaching the runway


Losing the parachute

It's hard to not recognize the sonic boom in the middle of lunch. Half of us ran outside to look for it and I headed for the tv for the better view and photos.
I know it is just the tv shots but it was LIVE feed.

Jack has come out of his Nyquil stupor and is working on the trailer. Mostly collecting parts & materials. We have to carpet those bunks today and then load the boat back on the trailer tomorrow! Bob K's boat parts is our best friend.

My big boy is Daddy's side-kick and manage to wiggle his way out of schooling. I kidnapped the other to the schoolroom and he is done for the day.

Ok, Pioneer woman is rubbing off of me.

I have a big pot of veggie soup & homemade bread ready for lunch. We'll chow and then work.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I had no idea how I was going to spend that extra hour of daylight savings time that I gained back until it dawned on me that I could play with all those useless photos of fish & their heads that I never blog about.

Can you guess the species when dressed in the wrong colors? I love the electric blue in his eye.

This was Jack's 44 lber.

Who am I? Angry long fish?

Love our blue table?
These 2 were already beautiful colors so I went metallic with them.

This fish was a genetic defect. He had no eyes. I have no idea why he adapted this way. What am I?

Here is the male version of this species.

Look at his female counterpart.

Isn't she gorgeous?

This guys reminds me of those funky cars you see that are painted in those dual colors. From one direction, they're green and the other is purple.

I don't expect you to get this exact species but the fish family should be easy.
* * * * * *

Tomorrow starts the new weekend for Jack but he has been down in the bed with the flu for three days. He was actually more awake today so I hope he's able to move some tomorrow. I doubt he'll be full force on the boat though. We have friends coming over Thursday to help with the trailer.
Me? Well, I'm doing my best to NOT get sick. Yesterday I had a terrible sore throat. Praise God it is gone today. I went a bit bonkers with the fresh fruit trying to Vit C my immune system to 150% efficiency.

Don't forget the family blog as well about Raising Fishermen.