Monthly Archives: June 2007

The Third Coast

Yesterday was a long, wonderful day.

Bill got home, and like a total kid, was ready to head to the boat as soon as he woke all the kids got up. He had not seen the boat since May, when he took it for the survey.

We worked on the boat until we were all ready to collapse. Cory and I scrubbed the deck…3 times. Once with just water, to rinse all the gunk off. The second time with a vinegar and water solution, to remove all the chalky oxidation, and the third time with a deck cleaner.

We also removed the shrimp boat chains off the backstay, and spent some time trying to figure out the original, complex pulley system that we are grateful the prior owners did not toss out. It was a bit like figuring out a geometry problem, and it was all in tangles and twisted around. You will be pleased to know that it took the mind of a woman, and that the inferior male mind failed at this task. ;*)

Bye bye chains….I am glad these are gone. I refused to go sailing on the boat until it was restored to a sailboat. This is a good thing, as while we were removing the corroded chain rigging, one of the bolts snapped in half. Glad that didn’t happen while under sail.

Bye bye chains

Removing chain backstay

Hello German pulley system
New (old) pulley system

And no, the boat is not in Palacios….that was 2 owners ago. It is now somewhere along the Third Coast. Obviously not in Austin, which, I am sorry, is NOT the Third Coast. Yes, it is a state of mind as well as a place, but the Third Coast is….well, come on down and find out.

Cory was a big help and a natural on the boat. He seems to really love everything about it, including the hard work involved, which really surprised me. He worked his tail end off, and loved every bit of it. He also rowed everyone around the harbor and inlet. He was one tired little swab last night.

I scrubbed the inside of the boat, although it was pretty immaculate already. I pulled up the carpet ( I loath all things carpet) and cleaned the lovely wood underneath. We also wiped all the teak down and are ready to put some teak oil on.

Cleaned cabin

Looking aft

Bill and I also started the process of waxing the hull. It is a huge job, but in the end will really make this boat look lovely. I think I will purchase a hand waxing machine, as my arms might fall off doing the job the old fashon way. I did get the blue areas on the deck done (no, I did not wax the deck, as that would be just plain dumb…just the blue areas around the window).

The kids had a complete blast. They rowed the dinghy out of the harbor and explored the area, even finding an island.

For those who e-mailed asking “Where are the children’s life vests!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” complete with 65 million exclamation points, here is evidence that I love their little lives, and have coast guard approved vests for everyone, including the damn dog (no joke…she has her own vest). The pictures of the boys in the dinghy the other day……the boat was still tied to the dock.

Life jackets are not an option

Pirates...arrrrr

Sweet pirate

Miss Mimi took to the boat from day one. She is a natural on it as well. Yesterday evening she walked to the bow and slowly turned around, taking in all the beauty surrounding her. I grabbed the camera, and watched. She held up her hand to feel the wind..

Feeling the breeze

…and threw her head back, feeling the wind, the sun and everything that is the ocean.

Wind in her hair

I know exactly how she feels.

Posted in Our Boat | 13 Comments

Red skies at night

Major, major exhausted here. We spent the afternoon/evening on the boat, heading home around 9pm.

We tested out the rather heavy air conditioner after hauling it from one end of the boat to the next, and it works like a charm…a nice, cool cabin for us to enjoy.

With the help of our boat neighbor, we got the dinghy off the bow of the boat, and into the water……..getting it back in made for one coke spurting, laugh ’til you pee moment. I am quite sure we were the entertainment for all the live-aboards who were watching.

Imagine hauling a large dingy onto the deck of a large boat, by having your 12 and 9yo cranking the winch on the jib halyard (which was attached to the bow of the dinghy) while you guide large dinghy over the life lines (life lines are sort of like a fence around the boat to keep you from falling overboard).

Imagine the dinghy hanging in mid air (much like a shark that was caught by a fisherman, and is hanging by its tail in the air while photos are taken to document the moment) when you hear the children say “We can’t turn it anymore and its slipping”.

Imagine looking down at the large dingy, as it swings 2 inches above the water…..you realize that if the small children can not hold the winch line, the dinghy will go straight into the water, stern first, filling with water and sinking to the murky depths.

That was the part where I turned slowly around and said “No matter what you do, DO…..NOT…..LET…….GO……OF…..THAT…..LINE” and yelled across the harbour to boat neighbor “I do believe your muscles are needed, please.”

Muscle boat man came to the rescue, and helped the boys turn the winch, instructing them on proper positioning of the line etc. It was very sweet, but I was at the bow, muscling the damn thing on to the deck and trying my best to wrench my back all to hell, so I was unable to hear the whole dialogue.

All the while, Mia was napping peacefully on her bunk down below and Quinn was jumping from the finger pier to the boat and back. He did this so any times, he got a shine splint.

Here is the dinghy and the strong sailer boys, I mean pirates…Arrr
My pirates

This would be the moon rising over our boat
Ghostly moon

Red skies at morning, sailer take warning.
Red skies at night, sailer’s delight.
Red skies at night

Delight would be an understatement. It was worth the wait. It was worth the aggravation. Seeing that sky this evening on the dock, while we tied lines and closed the boat up for the night was confirmation to me that all is well and this was the right boat for us.

All good things come to those who wait.

Posted in Our Boat | 7 Comments

Gotcha

Guess what we are doing tonight?

Gotcha!

We are grilling shrimp off the back of our new sailboat.

All I have to say is, IT IS ABOUT DAMN TIME!

Posted in Our Boat | 7 Comments

Clownfest

Remember when I told you that I thought we would have a clear title and maybe a boat this week?

Well, the title was cleared through the FDIC, but when they sent the documents (which was supposed to be by overnight but the clown sent it by snail mail….so tack on 5 more days to the 3 weeks we have been waiting to close) it was discovered that the asshat put the wrong names on the certificate of clear title, and the bank won’t accept it, of course.

So, the funding company is trying to get back in touch with FDIC guy, but he is in a meeting, and then on to lunch, so hasn’t retuned the frantic calls.

Why is the funding company frantic? Why that we be because we have had it, and are considering walking away from this whole assinine affair. Which means we will not buy this boat. :*(

We will be out almost $1000, but for the love of all things holy, we are sick and flippin’ tired of dealing with retards.

And we have to ask ourselves if there is a reason for all the obstacles. Like, maybe we shouldn’t buy this boat. The karma right now with Ms Moby is giving me some serious cause for pause. I told Bill she reminds me of the Flying Dutchman in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Posted in Our Boat | 5 Comments

Are you calling me fat?

Could there be a more enjoyable thing than laughing with your family?

We attempted to go out to eat at a restaurant last night. I have been jonesing for this one place, and Bill finally agreed. We requested to sit outside on the deck, and the hostess said something like “Sure, go ahead”. We were the only ones out there, but decided that this was a good thing, with the kids and all.

No one ever came out to wait on us.

Everyone was like, “Wow mom, this place is great. Do you think they know we are here?”

Looking at the menu, Bill was gawking at the prices and reading it out loud. He said “Hey, look, we can order some buffalo wings. You get 8 for $8.99. That is a little over a buck a chicken wing! WHAT a DEAL!!”

The kids were rolling, and playing right along, barking out bagain prices on the over-priced menu.

We finally left after a drunk staggered out of the bar and proceeded to have a fight with her mother….”I am NOT being rude. It is my birfday and I will come ou’side and look at the water if I want”…….and then she fell in the water. Well, not really. But I was thinking that would have been priceless.

Buh, bye.

We then filed out and went in search of another place to eat. By this point everyone was deliriously hungry, and Bill was on a roll.

Cody said, “Hey, that stop sign had no letters on it except for the ‘O'” To which Bill said, “Ah! The Big ‘O'” and I burst out laughing. He was laughing, the kids were laughing, even though they were completely clueless to what they were laughing at, which made us laugh even harder.

We finally found a decent place to eat, and ordered some food.

Bill and I were talking about the tendency in his family to be a bit pear shaped and hippish. He is not , and I pointed out to him that it is probably because he is really thin….if he gained weight, he would be hippish. We then stated talking about something else. The waitress was clearing the table, and suddenly Bill belts out to me, really, really loudly, “Are you calling me fat?”. The waitress looks up and, thinking he is serious, quickly walks away, which has us LOAO.

Yes, there might have been rum involved, which makes everything funnier, right? So, go drink some rum and re-read this post.

There was more, but I can’t remember. I just know that my face hurt from laughing so much. You really had to be there, and it probably sounds silly to you to read, but when Bill gets on a roll like that it really makes for a fun night.

New easy drink:

large cup full of ice
1 can seltzer water
the juice from one lime
1-2 oz of rum

P.S. No driving was involved in the making of this rummy evening.

Posted in Life's good | 5 Comments

Even rain can be fun

We are “home” here at the coast. Had to make a quick dash back to our stick house to pick up Cory from Scout camp. It was a long day yesterday, and we are very glad to be back at the Little House.

We have much going on here…..it looks like the title cleared and we are waiting for the papers to arrive at the mortgage company. So, maybe we will get to sail this summer after all!

Because the closing has taken so long, and the month of June is almost over, we have decided to extend ou reservations through July…at the very least. Which means, no Blogher.

I am disappointed in not going. If all had gone as planned with the boat, we could have spent June working on the boat and sailing. As is, we will be spending July doing that. There are things that need to be done before hurricane season is in full force, and Bill needs my help to do them.

In addition to that, I have been waiting 2 years to be doing what we are doing right now….living in the trailer….and now that we are finally doing it, I want to be here to enjoy the adventure. I was so very conflicted about it all, but the boat crap really was the deciding factor…as well as some other things that are too premature to talk about.

So, no Blogher for me.

There is always next year, right?

Posted in Life's good | 6 Comments

Juneteenth

Yesterday was my father’s birthday. He would have been 80 this year……if cancer had not killed him.

I started to write a letter to him yesterday, but I just could not do it. Even after almost 13 years, his loss is still so fresh for me. Like a wound that keeps breaking open.

I did not bake a cake and celebrate his birth with my kids. I didn’t jump in my car and drive to the metroplex to put flowers on his grave. Quite frankly, that would have pissed him off. “Wasted money and time” I can hear him say.

To give you an idea of how frank and dry his wit could be, when he was sick and in the middle of chemo, Bill and I sat talking with him at home. Everyone in our family had tiptoed around the topic of death. No one had dared broach the subject since his diagnosis. Dad and I had a special bond, and used to spend mornings all through my life talking. I am so happy that I took the time to actually listen to my father. I shudder to think of what I would have missed and been unable to pass down to my kids had I been more interested in being heard than hearing.

That day, I turned to him and said “Dad, what if this chemo doesn’t work. What if you die? How do you feel about that?”. I saw Bill nod his approval across the room. My dad looked me square in the eye and said “You know, no one has asked me that yet. Hmmm. Well girl , you will need to bury me first, because I might start to smell after awhile”. He then went on to say that he had lived a good life, and that mom was taken care of and he was ready to go if it was his time.

Six weeks later he was gone.

He was a man of extreme intellegence, quick wit, and a huge capacity for love.

No, I didn’t celebrate his birthday this year. I did that the first year he was gone…..I went for a run on the Galveston seawall, and afterwards sat on the jetties , cried, toasted my father and drank a beer. I threw one out into the water symbolically for him. Yes, I wasted a good beer, Dad. Get over it.

This year, I went for a run along the coast here. It was on the 16th, 3 days before his birthday. I was listening to my iPod, the song Billy Gray by Robert Earl Keen was playing. Half way through the song is a mandolin solo, and it was at that point I had to stop, bend over and sob, because my father played the mandolin for us on an instrument made by his uncle. He would bring it down from the top of the fireplace in the evening, and my brother, sister and I would gather at his feet to hear him play.

I sobbed and remembered him on the 16th. It was on September 16th that he went to be with his Lord….born again into heaven.

His birthday 80 years ago granted me the privilege of being his daughter, but I remember the 16th of each month as the day his suffering was over and he had peace.

I love you Dad and I miss you so much.

Posted in Life's good | 15 Comments

Meet the newest fish

Mia the fish

The little lady started swimming on her own the first week we were here. It is really weird looking because she is so tiny, and all of the older folks here at the park are a little freaked out when they see her in the water on her own. They have to ask over and over how old she is. Mia is quite proud of herself.

More manana! The kids are waiting on me to watch a movie with them…..The Great Escape with Steve McQueen! I think I have seen it more than a dozen times and never tire of it.

Posted in Life's good | 5 Comments

Building Bridges

The boat drama continues on, with the idiot Title Search Lady thinking that the bank that took over the MBank of Houston (who the default of lien originated from in 1985, but the bank folded) was Bridge Bank………..the document she was basing this on was found by her on the internet, and it was a teaching document, as in a “how to”…. Bridge Bank was actually the “bridge bank”.

So, she was harrassing an actual bank called Bridge Bank for almost a week, insisting that they took over MBank Houston (and they were saying “There’s no way, we didn’t become a bank until 2002! How could we take over a bank in 1989 when we didn’t exist until 13 years later), when the document was saying “bridge bank” as in “insert bank name here…bank that is bridging the take over”. When I found this out, I was like “Oh yeah, I am so telling the internets. This is too good to keep to myself.” Bill agreed.

After finding this out, I was able to do a simple internet search and find out that BankOne (now JPMorgan Chase) was the “bridge bank” (with the government interviening with loans) and that a simple Fax to the FDIC will yield us a release of lien in less than 10 days…….a lien that we could have had released by now if the the Title Search Lady knew a bit about her job.

Bridge Bank is now the new joke in our family. We need some cash! Hey, lets call the Bridge Bank! Oh no, that great mexican food place closed! Maybe Bridge Bank took it over. Where is my bathing suit? I think Bridge Bank has it.

You know what? I don’t care anymore. I am no longer stressed about this. I have finally unwound my spring and am now on Island Time. Beach towns just have a different flow. A different pulse.

I have finally synched my soul to the tides and the life of a beach bum.

Changes in latitude, changes in attitude.

Changes in Attitudes

Posted in Our Boat | 4 Comments

Summer reading

Dutton's

I am attempting to learn navigation. Celestial to be exact.

Today I am buying a sextant for the boat and along with the kids, will try and learn how to take a sight via a celestial body and plot where we are on a chart.

I think this is an important skill to learn if you plan to be on a boat in the open ocean. Yes, we will have a GPS, but electronics fail and if that happened in the middle of the Gulf, then what would you do?

Bill and I have both read Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi numerous times, and I just finished it again. It is a great summer read, even if you do not sail, so go check it out. At the age of 18, she sailed solo around the globe and lived to tell about it. It is just fascinating. She taught herself how to navigate, and had no GPS on board for the over 2 years she was on the boat. More than 50% of the time she was without an engine, so she had no way to power a GPS even if she had one.

Okay, we are off to the beach for the day.

My bookends

Bookends

Posted in Life's good | 9 Comments

This is unreal

Here we sit…waiting. Still. For the release of lien on the boat.

The owners are leaving for Mexico on Thursday, and will do something called a dry closing. Meaning they will leave the keys and title at the funding company, sign all the paper work, and the $$ will be deposited into their account when the title is released.
He will also lash the 8 foot dinghy to the foredeck, and put the air conditioner and bimini (the sun shade over the back of the boat…sort of like an awning) on the boat.

I am not happy about that last sentence. We have signed all papers, and are more than half way through the purchase. If a storm comes, that would really suck to have the 8 foot dinghy on the deck of the boat.

Not to mention that that noone called to tell us that the wrong bank had been contacted for lien release, and that all day Friday was spent trying to find the actual bank that holds the lien…..and find it they did, only to be told that it might take awhile.

Oh, or the fact that the owner had told us we had until the end of July to move the boat, and today he asked where we planned to keep her, and informed me I better get busy finding a slip because his slip was up at the end of June….as in 2 weeks from now.

I am containing my natural instinct to scream f**k over and over again.

I am pondering what kind of tropical concoction I need to blend up tonight to take the edge off and dilute my frustrations.

What is your favorite adult, frozen beverage? Leave the recipe in the comments, if you will please. Variety is the spice of life!!

Posted in Our Boat | 11 Comments

I could get used to this

One thing that I am finding out about living in the 5’er is that the messes are much less an issue.

When we went home this weekend, we walked in the house, and within 15 minutes, it was trashed. Toys everywhere. The pillows removed fom the chairs and thrown on the floor. Socks peeled off and thrown where ever. Shoes scattered all over the place. I felt like coming out of my skin, I was so annoyed. There was much yelling and bitching on my part, and I really hate that.

We come home here, and we do not have those issues. There are less toys, less clothes, less……stress in general. The kids each have their own bunk where they keep a basket of their favorite things and books. They basically wear bathing suits all day, and we don’t generate much laundry.

I cleaned the trailer this evening, and it took about 15 minutes. That included sweeping, mopping, dusting, straightening beds, cleaning dishes and cleaning the bathroom.

The rest of the day was spent here

We are also learning celestial navigation, and spanish via this site. Sailing lessons for the kids via Bill and I begin this week……..we hope.

Off to watch Pirates of the Carribean. I have never seen if before, so we rented both movies in anticipation of seeing the 3rd at the movie theater here this week.

Posted in Life's good | 9 Comments

Little Miss Magic

Me to Mia: “You are such a big girl folding the towels! Get over here and give me a hug.”

Mia runs and flings herself into my arms.

me: “Where did my baby go?”

Mia; “I am not a baby anymore. I am a big girl. But, I am going to have a baby sister!”

Me: “Oh, you think so huh? When do you think that will ever happen?”

Mia: “On Sunday. Or maybe next Saturday.”

Little Miss Magic

Sorry honey, you may be a big girl now, but you will always be my baby.

Posted in Life's good | 4 Comments

Dreams can be real, even with a wife creature

I am home..as in stick house…for less than 24 hours.

The reason we are home is because we are indulgent parents who cater to our children. There is a big 13th birthday party for one of Cory’s classmates, and the whole world will be there (at least all the boys from his class) so to avoid permanently ruining our sons social life, we drove home to allow him to attend the party of the century.

In addition to this, there is a plethera of crap I have to attend to…I will not bore you with details of lawn mowing and bill paying.

When we started to pull into the driveway, Mia burst out crying and has been sobbing ever since. She wants to go back to the Little House. The boys too. Me, I am somewhere in between right now. I really love this damn old house, but I love the simplicity of our life at the coast. I guess this summer will give light to some of the things I have been pondering over the last 1 1/2 years. Do I want to continue to dig in roots where we are, or try something new?

In addition to feeling excitement about the boat and our summer plans, I am also feeling incredibly stressed. We are not rich people. At all. One of the biggest questions that people ask me via e-mail is “How do you afford it?”. I have answered before in this post, but I have to tell you, the boat is a whole different story. We are fairly free of debt. We have an unbelievably low house note. Our taxes are less than $2200 a year. The cost of living is very low where we live.

But damn, the boat note, insurance for it and slip fee are going to really take a huge bite out, and I am trying hard to reconcile myself to that fact. Well, you might ask, why buy the boat and get yoursefl strapped? If you want to really know what it is about, well, I will tell you.

My whole life, all my father talked about was having a sailboat. He loved sailing, having sailed a bit in the Great Lakes, and raced a bit in Wisconsin, and was quite the adventurer as a young man. When he was in his early 20’s, he took a canoe down the Mississippi river from its beginning in Minnesota to where it ends in the Gulf of Mexico.

But the sailing. Oh, he really wanted it. On the weekends, as far back as I can remember, he would take us to lakes to look at sailboats. Every weekend. My mom hated it. She bitched and moaned every time she went with us, and in the end, after years and years of squabbling over it, told him there was no way she would let him buy a boat. I am still pissed at her about this. My father died having never fullfilled this dream.

When I married Bill in 1990, he was a sailing maniac. I got caught up in it purely by default. He loved it, so I got involved. We ended up selling the little 24 foot boat that we had, and bought the 30 foot blue water cruising sail boat, Mystic. Mystic was a boat that we could live on and sail around the carribean for a year. My father LOVED the idea and encouraged us with all of his heart.

One of the last really good memories I have of my father before he got cancer, was taking him out on Mystic for a sail around Galveston Bay. Bill let Dad have the helm, while he and I trimmed sails. My father just glowed. Afterwards we took him to eat boiled crab, and I don’t think he stopped smiling all night long. God, I loved him. Just remembering that has me in tears.

You know what I will not become? I will not become a wife who squashes the dreams of her husband. I want to be the kind of wife who helps him make his dreams come true. I want Bill to live life to the fullest, never taking anything for granted.

I want to be an encourager, not a discourager.

We talked about this. We talked about my financial worries. We talked about safety and having good common sense in regards to having children aboard.

In my heart, I know that Bill is just like my father. A quiet dreamer, who shares his deepest desires with great difficulty. He is a wonderful provider for myself and the kids, takes responsibility to a whole new meaning, and is one of two men with whom I always knew I could trust with anything….the other being my father. He rarely asks for anything, but boy when he does, it is usally whopper.

So, I shake off the memory of my mother and her inability to relinquish control. Control that she still feels the need to throw around. I look back at the last 15-20 years she had with my father, and I know that she is riddled with guilt and regret.

I will not allow for regret.

Instead of squashing my husbands dreams, I have decided to join him in them.

Here are some more pics of the boat…..

Posted in Life's good | 7 Comments

His lap is a comfy leg rest

Ahhh.

That is more like it.

Things have settled back down here, and we finally have a closing day. Title is now clear. The boat will soon be ours, and we can get that part of our trip behind us. The paper work, hand wringing, check writing part.

Now on to the sailing part.

Today I started the Flickr 365 Day challenge. A self portrait for each day, for a year. I can’t say how interesting it will be, but I will do my best.

My first photo begins here, with an awesome sexy lap

Add legs, and you have an awesome sexy lap put to use

Todo bueno!

Posted in Life's good, That surfer guy | 1 Comment

1985

Remember how I told you that buying a boat is stressful?

If you could measure stress on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the highest, I would be at around a 448…….

Part of the process involves a title search. With a boat, the lender searches on the state level, and on the national level via the coast guard.

While doing the title search on our boat-to-be, all cleared on the state level, but the Coast Guard shows a lien on the boat……….from 1985……the year it was made…….for over $40,000.

22 flippin’ years ago. The people we are buying from have only owned it for 2yrs, and the Texas title is clear. Why would the title NOT be clear from 1985?????

I was ranting and raving, trying to figure out how the hell we were going to be able to get a clear title on this damn boat, when Bill remembered a conversation that we had with a broker several months ago…..a conversation he stored in the part of his brain that remembers the names of streets we passed while driving through Sante Fe New Mexico in 1990.

Several months ago, when Bill and I had fallen for this Dehler, the broker said something like “Yeah, this one is a fabulous boat. Clean as a whistle inside and out. Also, it is a 1987, so it was not a part of the big title problems that some of the 1985’s are dealing with. In ’85, a wholesaler bought up millions of dollars in boats, had ’em shipped to the Port of Houston, then never picked them up. The whole lot sat in a marina without a clear title, and some are still out there in title limbo.”

Yes, you guessed it. Ours appears to be one of those lucky boats!!!!!

We feel very special. This kind of crap always happens to us.

I could go on and on about how the lending company, who we are paying to conduct the search and clear the title, had the audacity to ask me if I could make some calls and trace the title back to the original owners. Stunned, I said “Well, didn’t you do a FREAKING TITLE SEARCH? So you should have that information handy, right? I mean, why would we want to go from 2007 back through possibly half a dozen owners, some who might be dead by now, when you HAVE THE NAME OF THE BANK WHO IS HOLDING THE LIEN FROM 1985!!!!”

Ahem.

She also said it could take up to 3 weeks to clear the title.

In the end, the current owner, who was a banker prior to retiring, got the name of the bank from me, found out that it was sold and the name of the acquiring institiution, made some phone calls, spoke to the Vice President of said bank and is hoping to have a clear title tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am trying to find my way back to my happy place. I am listening to 1985 by Bowling for Soup on my Ipod, laughing my ass off at the irony that I downloaded it, at Billy’s suggestion, on Sunday before we left.

Working my way towards the chill.

Posted in Our Boat | 6 Comments

It’s not a dream anymore

We are here, and it is so beautiful, I am going to cry.

The park……..it is just perfect. Oak trees everywhere, NO CARS speeding through the park. Kids on bikes, families quietly grilling dinner.

We are in the midst of a crab/shrimp boil, and Bill is grilling seafood outside as well. Like I said…..I am going to cry I am so happy.

Here, (sniff) just take a look for yourselves.

Off to sip my beer and shake my head at Bill as we both say, “Pinch me please, I think I am dreaming”.

Posted in Life's good | 8 Comments

Mum mum wants Ruta Maya, not gum, gum.

Here I sit, with my ice cold Tecate, and the whirrrrr of the vacuumm cleaner is filling the house.

No, Bill isn’t home. The kids are cleaning the house today, and I am recovering from the nightmare of trying to get all the paperwork to the finance company for the boat closing next week. And get an ATM card. And online banking. And pack the trailer. And read blogs. And pull half chewed apples out from under the T.V..

I am not some Sheila, cracking the whip at my poor enslaved children. They are cleaning the floors because some nameless child brought Life cereal into the den, proceeded to eat it as if he had not eaten for a week and was using his feet as hands, then threw the empty bag with all of the crumbs on the floor. It was trampled on by many oblivious feet, and found its way under the book shelf………where upon discovering it, I pulled it out by the wrong end, and emptied all the wormy crumbs into the crevice of hell.

4 blocks down the street you could see the blinding white flash of my anger and hear my deep, growling bellow “WHO BROOOOOOUGHT FOOOOOOOD INTO THE DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN??????” When hit with the first wave of my nuclear anger, all 4 of my children poofed into ash and fell to the ground in little piles.

It was not just the Life cereal episode. It had been a bickering, spastic, swing-from-the-ceiling-fan kind of day and I was ready for a beer at 2pm…or to call the zoo and tell them I had some monkeys to donate if they would come NOW.

So, now they are cleaning. They actually do a fantastic job of spiffing up the house. I think having them do the cleaning is a good thing. Not that anyone needs to be taught how to vacuum. With their fathers genes, I do believe it is an inherited trait. But I believe they need to learn that, no matter how much you hate something, it still needs to be done. It is called responsibility.

I let them mop the floors too, but I rarely take them to the grocery store. I mean, really. What is the point? I am there to get the stuff I need and get the hell out of dodge. Someone in one of my e-mail groups stated that she was teaching her girls how to be good homemakers by taking them with her to the grocery store and teaching them how to shop. I think that is good, if it is important to you. All of my kids have been grocery shopping before, but I would never expect them to learn it or enjoy it. I mean, its the grocery store. I figure it is one of those things they will learn on their own, such as crying while paying the bills and pouring a beer without too much foam.

I did learn recently that my son knows his coffee. We had just wrapped up a day at Incredible Pizza and were running some errands before heading home from the big city. We pulled into the HEB Plus and everyone in the car let out a huge “Ohhhh”, not the grocery store” groan. I said “I just have to run in and get coffee, and I will be right back”.

Cory: “Mom, I could do it faster than you. you take forever.”
Me; “Yeah, right. You have no idea where Ruta Maya, Espresso Roast, whole bean coffee is. It is a specilty coffee. You will never find it”.

Cory; “Mom, it is the grocery store. How hard can it be?”

I gave him a $20 and told him to go for it.

Now, this store is enormous. I get lost in it. It has everything from an olive bar to bins of fresh mozzarella cheese balls. Also, remember that the largest store in our home town is Dollar General.

Grabbing the $20, into the store he went. Five minutes later he emerged with my coffee and change. Which ushers in a new era in my life. A time in which I sit in the car with the littles and Cory goes in for quick purchases.

Now he must learn how to make an extra dry cappuccino and we will be all set.

I can see myself now….calling out from bed….”Cory, I am ready for my coffee. Please pour me a venti, extra dry cappuccino with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.”**

**need I even mention that I am kidding? Me hopes not. I mean, that espresso machine gets really hot. Fetching me a cold beer is one thing, but pouring a shot of espresso could be dangerous. ;*)

Posted in Life's good | 6 Comments

B is for Beer

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I totally want one! For myself!

Speaking of beer. I have bought a couple of 12 packs, and have loaded them into the trailer. Limes are in the fridge, and today I have to do some grocery to stock the cabinets, fridge and such. There is so much to do, and I am running out of time.

We are heading to the coast for the summer. We have reservations for the month of June at one place, and from there, we will move about.

So, it is happening. We are finally taking off to live in the trailer for a long haul. Not for good, as we will still have the house and a home base, but as close to full timing as we will get for a while.

The house has a sitter, the cat will have a lap to curl up in in the safety of her own home, and Honey has been flea bathed and combed with a shedding comb until her coat is nice and shiney and all of the remaining hairs seem to be staying put for now. She has been groomed to be a trailer dog. The kids and I have been working with her on obedience training, and she is doing great. She sits, comes, heels, lays down and stays on command. Last night she slept in bed with me and stayed curled in ball beside me all night. The cat, de-throwned and in a pout that could be heard round the world, sat across the room on the big green chair glaring at us all night.

As for location, well, dude, that is classified. We will be along the Texas coast, looking for some waves for our boards, some wind for our sails, and some time alone together with no phone. I will have WiFi (damn straight), a cell phone and we have the option of cable TV which I think we will decline. The spot we have reserved is waterfront, on a huge pad, under a giant live oak tree with plenty of room for the kids to play. There is a picnic table under our tree, a beach right across the way and a 50 foot dock to fish off of.

The kids are mildly excited. They are loath to leave all of their electronic crap behind, and I am standing firm on the fact that the PS2 is staying put, unplugged, in the closet. I still can’t understand the concept of wanting to sit all day playing Star Wars instead of being at the beach catching waves and exploring the bay via a dinghy. I am thinking the Electornic Sprite is going to pay our house a visit while we are gone, and take away all the gaming consoles and leave surf boards in their places. I bet that would go over well.

So, my next post will be from our spot under the oak. In the meantime, will you pray for all rain to steer clear of Chris this weekend? She has an island to explore on her new bike, and dude, the forcast is harching with her mellow.

Posted in Life's good | 6 Comments