Curious Tidbits

© 2012 Tami Stewart Contact Me

Today is the Day!!

Today is the day. Robb and I become Florida homeowners today. As usual I woke up early, ready to do whatever it is that I’m supposed to do at 5 a.m. when we do not sign papers until noon but by golly I better get up and do something! How about I obsess a bit more about what to do to give them home better curb appeal, who sells bulk compost and what to do with the damn tile?
TileFront

Dreams Do Come True

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When the lady asked me, ‘business or pleasure?’ I stuttered and said, ‘a wedding’. Is a wedding pleasure? Perhaps. Still not sure.
As the bride dressed and beautiful she is, the talk around the veil was about this day she dreamed about since she was a little girl. Another mother said her seven year old was already dreaming of her wedding. Really? Where was I when they passed out that dream? Do all girls dream about their wedding? I do not remember that dream. I do remember dreaming about living on a sailboat, as in many dreams, it was fragmented but I remember the movement and the porthole. Isn’t it ironic?
Not that I am a firm believer in that you get what you dream, but it’s just funny where I ended up. But just in case, what if we all started dreaming about saving the world?

Adolescent Angst

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Since the age of knowing (whenever that is) I made a conscious decision to only allow kind people into my life (okay I screwed that up with some poor romantic choices) BUT I hung on when it came to building a family outside of my gene pool. Despite my high standards of meaningful relationships, I’ve never been without a confidente, a safe gang of others who know me and still love me.
The people I have in my life inspire awe.
BUT this weekend I must walk into the lions’ den and my inside is a whirling dervish of turmoil. I liken it to the Tasmanian Devil running around in my gut.
I’ll only be on the ground for 48 hours. I’m going for a completely celebratory and happy event so I’m working on getting over my bad self and walking with my head held high. – HELP!
I knew I was in trouble when I woke up at 5 a.m. obsessing about what dress I’m going to wear. Who gives a shit? It’s not about me. But I do look a bit like Morticia Adams.
The chaos in my mind…..

Traci and me circa? 1968?

I love this picture. Pity the style in that day was poofy hair extraordinary. My hair being so thin could not ‘stand’ up as it were and still doesn’t. Not sure when this picture was taken but boy aren’t we cute?

Traci and me 2

Robby's Birthday!


I make a big deal of birthdays. It is the day my loved one arrived in this world. It’s Robb and my sixth birthday celebration together. The actual celebration was delayed by an impromptu turkey day request but delayed is not denied. So yesterday it was Robby’s day to say, I want to do……

The Zoo, the beach, Jaguar (his very favorite place to nosh in Coconut Grove) & a movie - well he did give me choice there - Lincoln, of course Lincoln.

May we have many more together.

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A Dream called Home

So remember back in April when I started dreaming about Home? Home is a relative concept when you live on/in what’s the correct preposition? Anyway, some but not all yacht jobs are what are termed as ‘live aboard’, i.e. we live on the yacht that we are working on. There is a tendency by some yacht crew to consider the yacht their personal domain often creating tension when the ‘real’ i.e. the ones who pay for the home show up.
Crew must remember they are living in someone else’s home. It may be a 10 gajillion dollar ‘home’ that floats with crew spending many hours maintaining but it’s never the crews’ home. Crew can never get too comfortable, or they might find their bags on the dock effectively rendering themselves homeless.
So despite being the ‘live aboard’ variety, Robb and I agreed we would love a retreat to call our own. And as blessings would have it, I was favored in a will from very hard working family members that left me with a lump sum to fund a home of our own. Wow! Just wow! On that bit of blessings.
As Robb and began to look, we instantly realized that being a bike ride to the beach was a nonnegotiable. A walk to the beach was a budget buster but a leisurely bike ride was a possibility. We were also introduced to a vacation luxury rental company that could facilitate use of the home while we were off doing what we love.
So the search began and it was not long before we walked in and said ‘hm? hm? hm? We had certain parameters required by the rental company, 3 bdrm 2 bath and a pool, which were essential, but this home had that heart/mind fit. I won’t bore you with the two weeks of mind stress chaos that went into the preapproval process but finally we were able to make an offer and it was accepted. We start the process of surveying on Tuesdays, so it’s never done until the escrow lady sings but I’m here dreaming.

Front View
Walk in
What you see when you walk in the front door. Front Room
Walking to the kitchen. Hate the wall color but that’s a paint can.

Kitchen
The previous owner remodeled the garage into a gourmet galley. Yes, that’s a six burner gas stove and a wine frig. Wow! They did the hard part, now we get to enjoy!
Maybe. Don’t get too excited Tami…….

The Bonfire by Marc Wortman

“We Americans have never lost a war.”
George C Scott as Patton

“George Patton’s grandfather was in Lee’s army of Northern Virginia and he certainly lost a war”.
Shelby Foote, author of a three volume history of the Civil War


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There is nothing better than discovering completely by happenstance a book that cranks a windows open on a topic of great interest. I found such a book. It seems such a small word “book” particularly when it opens a window on a world for you to contemplate.

We are the United States but no one can ever say we are the Same States. Since the dawn of this dream, the populous of the U.S. struggled with the reality of slavery. The Founding Fathers set the entire issue aside as perhaps there were too many other continuous issues to resolve and probably they knew there could be no agreement on this topic. Heck, George Washington owned at least 277 human beings and Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote the revolutionary line, ‘all men are created equal” owned hundreds.

So it was not until the 5
th President, Abraham Lincoln, when areas began to agitate for statehood did this issue of ‘states rights’ fracture the tenuous ties that bind this diverse land and population. Actually it was prior to Abraham Lincoln took office did South Carolina seceded from the Union – who knew? State rights is in quotes as many Southern's will assert that the Civil War was NOT about slavery but states rights. Hm? My unstated question (don’t want to get my head shot off), is would we have gone to war if the demanded right was not the ownership of fellow human beings?

Marc Wortman’s The Bonfire: The Burning and Siege of Atlanta brings the drama and complexity of this period to life. Few books captivate the heart and mind the way this one does. Mr. Wortman makes my mind say WOW! Yes, a screaming WOW! Mr. Wortman tells the story of Atlanta, Georgia from its Indian civilization origins through and beyond Atlanta’s burning by Sherman – hear the Southerns hsssssss. Mr. Wortman tells the tale in fascinating detail with incredible research into the people who inhabited this complex emotionally charged, deadly period of U.S. history. Can’t say enough!



ECWC TOPIC Atlanta PIC Ruins of Georgia RR Roundhouse Following Explosion of Confederate Munitions Train Night Sep 1-2 1865

My Morning View


Sunrise Dinner Key
Every morning for the past three weeks, I’ve watched the sun rise over Biscayne Bay. We are docked at what might be our ‘home’ in Coconut Grove but as with everything in this whimsical white boat world, I never know. It shows up in my yoga practice with wobbly tree poses and collapsing half moons. Funny how my yoga practice reveals the reality of the instability in this life. My mind & heart are pleased to be parked in a small area south of Miami that reminds me a bit of Highland Park in Dallas but with significant Latin flavor. In the last year & ½ we have traveled over 10,000 nautical miles in this boat we call our home. So where are we going now? Only God knows.

My Greatest Joy

Sister Came to Play!!!

Tami and I fun_pp

My New Favorite Place


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Working on yachts, takes you places, some times lovely, some times boring, it’s a crapshoot. Every boat is different and you get what you paid for, i.e. it’s a job not a vacation-planning tool. When I ask a prospective employee, why do you do this and the response is travel, their resume goes in the toilet. So much of this job is waiting in places that you aren’t so keen on to go to a place of which you are keenly excited about but are tied to the boat because it’s a job, not a vacation. Or all the guests just left and you are too tired to see much less walk around enjoying the world you find yourself in.

Turth
All that said, I’ve been fortunate to be allowed a bit of freedom that I take full advantage of. As this summer we were in New England and I had two long breaks I experienced Washington DC as I wanted to. Pictures of the Lincoln Memorial at night, the National Portrait Gallery and the Library of Congress – oh the Library of Congress, the library of all libraries in the U.S. Robb picks up every bit of flotsam and jetsam that each city provides, it’s good as he is always searching for the very best thing for guests to do but I of course obsess about the tress and the paper waste. And I’m always the one to pick them all up and try to decide what the hell to do with them. Have I mentioned that Robb is a ‘collector’, in quotes as what is he really ‘collecting’ with his random pieces of wood, jewelry and the occasional rubber ducky – I kid you NOT. Anyway, one of these pieces of paper landed in front of me as I was stuffing cereal down my throat. It was a ritzy rag advertising watches that cost the annual GDP of a small Central American country BUT it also contained a blip on one of the buildings that house the library of Congress. Most notably the Thomas Jefferson Building, I’d heard vague mumblings of this Library in the past but it never peaked my interest at it did at this moment. What was this place? Why was it so beautiful? Well, it’s a library, isn’t that my ‘happy place’ I go to when very, very scared? Libraries are quite, they are full of books, books I may not want to read but books which do not talk back, do not offer an opinion that speaks louder if you refuse to believe and did I mention it’s quite? Yes, sounds like the place for me. Can you say Geeks are Us, I’m excited about a dag burn library? I quivered with excitement. As the current exhibits were based around Thomas Jefferson’s library and the 100 Books that Shaped America – Exhibits meant for me.
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STCW '95

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A bit past due but better late then never. The STCW ’95 as it’s referred to is the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchingkeeping. When I decided to try out this hair brain scheme of boat working everyone said it was the minimum requirement for all yachties. The class aka certification does expire in five years but I put renewal off. Time, Expense, Bah Humbug were my excuses. Heck I think if I could manage five days off in a row the last thing I would want to do is spend $1000 renewing a damn certification.
I kept trying to determine what the consequences of not completing the course would be, a question, which no one of any authority would answer. Grr!! So here I went again back to school to learn the very basics of Firefighting, rescue methods and Social Responsibility. CPR/First Aide is also required but as time was short that section would come later in the year. Thursday and Friday were spent with Firefighters, Thursday in the classroom and Friday ‘in the field.’ The first class time around, it was November in San Diego, feel the cool despite attempting to put out the staged raging fire. Second time, it is Sept in Fort Lauderdale feel the burn, literally. And as there were 31 participants, divided into three groups it took until 1330 (that’s military speak for 1.30 p), for my group to move through a storage container where a small fire had burned for approximately four hours with each group spraying and steaming, repeat. First you climb a ladder to the top of the container, fully kitted out in helmet, mesh head covering, gas mask, jacket, pants, boats, none of it fits, all of it is heavy and holds the heat. Its 1.30 p, I’m drooling with no food in my system since 7 a, a physical collapse was inevitable. And due to a long history of loud music participation, I could not hear one word while down ‘fighting’ the fire. It was bewildering, threatening five minutes of ‘what the hell?’ Yes, I passed but I also almost passed out and threatened to throw up all over the firefighters, most of whom were rather good looking, do they come that way or is it just the uniform? Note to self in five years when I have to do this again, San Diego in November is a much better option for the firefighting portion.


Feeling Like a Rock Star!!


What other job lets me wear no shoes,
crawl on furniture and get paid?

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Sometimes I try to justify my job. Sometimes I make fun of it.


Sometimes I just smile and puzzle at what led me to be on a plane flying to Maine to meet my work/home at the age of almost 50 to live with and cook for people I did not know a year ago, (except one of course).


And sometimes I feel guilty that I have a job that I enjoy, that pays me well enough to live debt free and dream of the new MacBook Pro. I know enough about the world to know that very few get to live in that reality.


It’s as if my mind enjoys ruminating, chewing on what I do, why I do it and how I could do it better. Most people do this right? Maybe, I don’t live in anybody else’s head but it seems a great deal of my mental energy is spent speculating on matters related to living and working on a 7 million dollar yacht, living with people who are not my family (that’s a good thing) and creating meals people enjoy. How did I end up here? How did I get such good?


I often attempt to justify doing a job that can be said to have limited redeeming value. It’s not about saving the world, helping persons in need or providing a service no one else can – I mean I cook, I clean, I cook, I clean. Sometimes I feel guilty about doing something that I love; the guilt passes quickly, if not me who?


Right now, I’m awed that I get paid to travel around and take care of people – perfect job for a traveling hound codependent. Who ever said codependency is bad thing?




Writing a Life

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Writing a life contains it, explains it, and offers moments to reflect. But it comes from stillness, it requires peaceful rest fostering sufficient mental energy to create. When Phillip Stark is asked how can manifest such grand creativity he remarks at all that he does not do to foster his grand imagination: TV out, movies out, social engagements out…:


Isolation + Simplicity = Creativity


My life is no longer isolated or simple which lends itself to chaos, confusion and exhaustion. Since the boat returned from the around the Canal trip, it’s been one thing after another, similar to most peoples’ hectic, hurly burly lives. I wish I could summarize all that I’ve learned so I can review later and not miss anything. I will try in bits and pieces here.Cooking Triumphs!First Place - Homemade Mayo – Since the beginning of this cooking journey I’ve attempted Homemade Mayo. People speak of it as the holy grail of cooking and I’ve repeatedly been discourage by my attempts. How can I call myself a true cook when something as seemingly simple as homemade mayo alludes me? Well, let me tell you it doesn’t anymore, thanks to the blog:


http://www.anoregoncottage.com/

She uses a food processor and for some reason her recipe worked for me. I was so proud of myself that I walked around the kitchen thumping my chest. I had no one to share my cooking triumph with as dinner for ten needed to be on the table in five and no kindred spirit was handy. So now I now take a moment to say Whooopie!!!


  1. Second Place – Nobu’s Black Miso Cod –

  2. I used Sea Bass but I rocked it. It was describied as out Nobuing Nobu – the pinnacle of praise on our vessel.

  • Third Place - Tuna Tartar - It’s the Bomb!

  • Cooking Disaster –

  • Fresh cookies daily are a must have on our vessel. Not as daunting as it sounds as the gang loves what we refer to as the “Kitchen Sink” variety of cookie: i.e. begin with a basic recipe for Oatmeal Raisin or similar and then just throw in whatever you have on hand – toffee chips, guava, white chocolate, coconut – whatever. I usually make a tub of dough, let it soak for a good hour or two or ten and then ball it up and freeze. Everyday I grab ten balls, throw them on a sheet pan and bam! fresh cookies. The boss actually is touchingly disappointed when fresh cookies are not available and he is so nice that I feel terribly guilty when I haven’t tended to my cookie duty – this coming from someone who does not even crave cookies.

BUT when in the Bahamas and resources are somewhat scarce (really just so damn expensive you wonder how people actually raise children there) do not try to substitute instant oatmeal for the long cooking variety. Disaster!! Wasting food makes me cringe but the whole batch had to go, nothing worse then watching a big luscious batch of butter and sugar and yummy go out the door simply because the damn oatmeal was decimated by the stripping of all that is good and healthy from it so people can spend five minutes less time at their stove. BAH!



3. Cooking “Love to Learn” or “Love to Have Time To:”
a. Sharpen knives
b. How to cook with Seaweed – it’s so good for you.
c. Fish Stock, Chicken Stock, Beef Stock – actually all stock….
d. Training crew to wipe the table up after eating –


What am I their mother????

What is Normal in Yachting...


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Might be considered ??? not sure what the word might be for the over the top, crazy, does that thing really cost that much? Purchases that gone on in this world. It is a little world which one gets a peek at while working on this big shiny white thing that floats. Really it’s a HUGE toy / pleasure vessel / Floating Hotel however you want to describe it. For example the tissue holder that caught my eye at the “Suppliers” store.


Robb often calls the Supplier Guy for those hard to find electrical hook up thingys that seem to go on the blink fairly often and cost more then most people’s monthly food bill. I usually do not go through the suppliers as I like to feel and touch and see my galley stuff before it arrives on the boat and I’m stuck with it. And when all is said and done, I carry in my heart/mind/consciousness (into the back slashes today) the vestiges of grandparents who grew up during the Depression and a father who was always told to only order from the left hand side of the menu – check it out, it’s true the right side is notoriously more pricey.


So when I stopped by the Supplier Guy to pick up another electrical hook up thing I happened to ask if they could source these really cool plastic glasses called “Click Clack” made by Strahl. These are plastic glasses of the indestructible variety and due to improper washing technique by an earlier crew member (no names pls) our glasses were looking a might shabby. I tried to source them but the website has a super secret whole sale only code that does not allow the normal person to purchase said item – Grrrr!!! While speaking with the ever helpful Supplier Gal, I noticed a beautiful Tissue holder on display that the Mrs. would appreciate. The Supplier place has a whole section of do dads on display to entice the yachtie stew on the prowl. The Supplier Gal sent me the link in order to pass along the find to Mrs.


Hence this blog posting about the confounding excesses that one encounters while yachting – this beautiful tissue holder is a mere $285.00. Really? Truly? The trash can is a pittance at $510 – what and this s--- comes from the Philippines, where I’m thinking that the creation of said items is a mere fraction of the posted price tag. What is the average wage of a person that lives in the Philippines? And how much of the profit trickles down as the proponents of the BS of our current economic policy laud? Trickle Down my ass.


And this is only one example but really, $285, for a tissue holder, how can one offer that with a straight face?


And no, I will NOT be passing along that to the Mrs. She would look at me as if I’ve lost my marbles.


Questionable Excess x 2

Monkey? Skull? Monkey? Skull?

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Personally I’m offended by the seeming honor of pirates by the plastering of the pirate/skull head on everything from t-shirts to flags to diamond bracelet (yes that is diamond bracelet – pictured above - who knew there were such things as black diamonds?).



Pirates are the original gangster thugs. They ride around in their floating cars killing people and stealing stuff, it puzzles me why people want to honor this behavior. You wouldn’t believe how many pirate themed yachtie parties are available to idiots who obviously do not know the history of the waters they cruise.



But the afore mentioned and pictured diamond bracelet baffles me not only on the pirate issue but on so many other levels:



  • it’s ugly
  • price tag - $250,000
  • it looks like a scary strange monkey head
  • it’s ugly
  • it sold

Really, someone actually purchased that? Really? One more lesson in that money certainly does not buy good taste.



Ewwww!!!



Sara Kay

Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal

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“If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.” But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it. I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. “Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.” Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.”

All Boundaries are Imagined

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I fell in love with two Asian stories this week. “One Forgotten Country” by Catherine Chung and the other the film, “Snow flower and the Secret Fan” based on Lisa See’s book. The boss just put in this wicked cool Samsung flat screen in the salon. As I fall asleep when I try to watch movies at night and haven’t been sleeping past five for the past month, I got up early and watched it in the salon. What a treat. The New York Times ripped the movie apart but I loved the message of women loving each other for who they are not for who they want them to be. We can all learn a lesson on better loving. So many quotes stick out from both pieces of work but I especially enjoyed these:

The world is always changing. Every day it's changing. Everything in life is changing. We have to look inside ourselves to find what stays the same, such as loyalty, our shared history and love for each other. In them, the truth of the past lives on. Lisa See

Joy stops time. Joy can stop time with the force of its insistent, incomprehensible weight. Catherine Chung

Alone in a Crowded World

Alone had always felt like an actual place to me...a room where I could retreat to be who I really was. “Wild” Cheryl Strayed

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You might see me surrounded by others, laughing uproariously but there is loneliness here. Others might not see it but at moments of need it can stun me how isolated I am from people who share my passions.
It is my nature to seek aloneness. It helps me revive. It allows me to ruminate. It allows me to write.
I lived alone. I traveled alone. To be alone is not loneliness. But when I am unable to commune with those who share passions, questions, stimulating discourse please…Or worse when I’m absolutely flattened by sadness on whom do I lean?
As in any work setting, you have limited power as to who stands next to you. But in this setting one is often stuck out in the middle of nowhere (a beautiful nowhere but still nowhere) with only your crew mates for company and an educated populous is not a requirement. Can they perform a job, which is technical, often mind numbing, at times unrelenting and has the potential to endanger your life? Hm? A transparent, inquiring heart not on the skills required list. Even if I am the one doing the hiring there is no guarantee I won’t want to whack the person overboard three months later.
So at times this life is lonely.
I hurry to assure my reader that I have others with whom I can share the burdens of this life, just a phone call away.  But here? Not in this world of yachts and service. No, not here. Books? History? Psychological Inquiry? Morality? Ethical living in a corrupt world? These I ponder alone.
Maybe that’s better? Who needs to hear me babble?
And really, how much do I enjoy the inconvenience of people anyway?
That’s my old tough heartbroken heart....

Pursing a Youthful Glow


“Let’s just get this out of the way, I burned my face off.”


That’s how I’ve been opening face-to-face encounters for the last four days. First off, I did willingly submit to laser burns and I know people are looking at my face thinking, “what the hell?” Some people feel comfortable politely asking but most strangers wouldn’t dare. It is telling that even the man who bags the groceries at the Coral Gables chi chi grocery store identified my redden face the result of a chemical peel and encouraged my pursuit of non plastic surgery options. He bags groceries, are chemical peels that common? Wow!! Just proves my rule – you never know what people know.
Yes, I underwent something called a CO2 Laser Treatment. How I understand it is that a laser is used to treatment sun damage and minor wrinkles. I won it at a charity raffle. So yes, I actively pursued the option to burn my face off. My inside cringes when I say that remembering all those women who truly do have their face burned off via acid thrown in their face so please understand I say it only tongue in cheek.
But it is a humorous that I pursued this dramatic facial burning, I do not deny that I’m vain. Yes, I look in the mirror and think, “look at that sun damage.” I wanted to do something about it but it’s expensive and painful and expensive but I won it so I couldn’t resist. Yikes! And they are stingy with the Valium allowing it only during the procedure. Then they send you home to scream and suffer with ice and Advil – what good is that? The first 24 was bad, no sleep and ice pack face but it’s better today, five days out, now I look like a bit like pepperoni pizza, white with brown/red curly patches.
The take home advice was a mix of white horror cream to mix with a big wad of petroleum jelly harkening back to high school makeup removal days. Age pays in product wisdom as according to Wikipedia:
Petroleum jelly's effectiveness in accelerating wound healing stems from its sealing effect on cuts and burns, which inhibits germs from getting into the wound and keeps the injured area supple by preventing the skin's moisture from evaporating.
But can’t we do better then that? The source of PJ, as we all know, is oilrigs and besides I know of no way to get petroleum jelly out of my hair. So a few drops of lavender, a tablespoon of vitamin e and loads of aloe are my cure de jour. I hope this is worth it. As for now, I’m still seeing those pesky sun freckles poking their little brown spots right back out again – they have been there a very, very long time.

Hoping & Dreaming

Contemplating a mortgage at 48 feels much different then contemplating a mortgage at 38. Do I really think signing a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is a good idea? I mean if I attend to the schedule outlined by the mortgage lender, designed to maximize their profit, I will be 78 by the time the damn thing disappears. But what other options are available? Where do I begin?
I like this house idea, this thought of creating a home of my own. How thrilling that I can even hopefully contemplate this notion. It is not my own hard work that funds this dream, although I do not deny that I work hard, many others do too and the idea of home ownership is the stuff of cotton candy fantasy for many. Me, I have grandparents and parents that work hard and the trickle down effect is in play. I think of my grandparents and wonder what they would think of this yachty thing I do? My maternal grandfather left school in 6
th grade built a successful company, worked hard, what would he think of my life at sea? My maternal grandmother, again a person who lived through the Depression picked cotton with her mother. The land was her family’s but when people yachting whine about how hard they work I goose chortle, you ain’t pickin’ cotton baby.
I wonder if my commitment to working hard can be traced to genetics? Nature/Nuture. Such a quandary.
Today, I did decide that purchasing a home is an excellent option for a person like me who yearns for private safe space away from all things painful. Oh wait, much of that I carry with me. Never mind that at least I can cry and scream in privacy. And paint the walls the color of my choice. I see yellow and periwinkle.
But I must continue to wait and plan and hope as buying a home at 48 is a wholly different sort of dream. Please no debt okay, all right aside from them obligatory 30 year or perhaps 15 ball and chain? But the rest of it, no debt as it robs freedom, joy, no debt – scary monsters. Save more, just a bit.
So for now I will stay on my 7 million dollar conveyance plus work abode plus sleeping area with all its bells and whistles. Poor poor pitiful me with all my hopes and dreams, oh wait, isn’t anticipation half the pleasure of all things.
Yes, the dreaming, the hoping, the fantasy – delightful!


Health Care "Debate"


How many people protesting ‘Obamacare’ describe themselves as evangelical Christians? Health Care is a complex debate requiring thoughtful consideration and all we manage is outsized Mickey Mouse hand with No!No!No! I throw the evangelical in there as I consider myself one but choose to focus on the “Blessed are the peacemakers” portions not the T-shirt slogan of ‘Gods, Gun and Freedom’ as I don’t remember reading that phrase in my theological studies.

What are they saying ‘No’ to? That everyone be required to carry health care insurance? I do not disagree that no one should be ‘forced’ to purchase the current abysmal insurance options, which are cumbersome, costly and do nothing to foster health? But I’m certainly not going to Washington to protest, I think it might be better to speak with BC/BS but they wouldn’t listen (too busy counting their billions) so what is the point?

So these people have proved they can put a glove on but have they developed any informed alternatives? Do we not already have a system of government health care imposed on us by automatic paycheck withdrawal and forced acceptance as we progress through life? And to stretch the irony of the ‘debate’ is that old rich people in flowing dresses who do have gov't funded health care (much better then any we could purchase) are the arbitrators of this debacle?

Life dictated by Carpet

Absurd as it sounds my life is dictated by carpet. It all began back in March when you will note that blog posts dropped off precipitously a.k.a. they disappeared. When we arrived in the States that is when the ‘real’ work was to begin. The boat had not seen a maintenance yard in over two years so work was required & the boss wanted a few interior changes. A few turned into more then a few with decorators and family weighing in on the process. It was a flurry of what about this or that or this or those, pillows and carpet were the sticking points but chair covers, wallpaper and frames were all part of the process. I was integral to the process as there is nothing better for job security then making oneself indispensible. But Lord have mercy, I damn near lost my mind. As I am NOT an external processor AND grown apoplectic with the myriad of choices offered by the decorators, I was running on the ragged edge.
Then comes the dreaded carpet install. Oh Lord, even now seven months later I quake. Just call me the carpet Nazi! The carpet is beautiful and very white and you can see every foot imprint, yes, a gillion dollars for carpet that NEVER absolutely NEVER looks finished. Well, maybe if one backs out while vacuuming but inevitably a crewmember wanders immediately through to wreck the smooth tableau. Really, really?
Carpets suck! Now can I tell you about he drapery debacle?

The Best Things...

So tired. Do you ever get so fatigued that if feels you are drowning? Being such an active person, to experience this kind of exhaustion, over takes my mood, my thoughts, my heart. My brain ceases to remind me that it will all be okay and that rest is the only and wholly effective remedy. And I’m headed for rest. A great long rest, a whole Seven Days of my kinda nothingness – ocean, turtles and beach.
The exhaustion hit as I sat cramped in a plane behind this terrible man who leaned his seat all the way back with frequent leg presses so that his hair gel was the fragrance du jour. Rude, rude, rude – this added to my ‘I’m exhausted and I just can’t take it anymore!’ But as always I was equipped with several distraction toys, which provided an alternative to whacking this guy on the head. Good because I had been looking forward to this trip to Palm Island in the Grenadians for a year & a half or something like that and did not want to get arrested for assault with a deadly purse.
My very best toy with it’s yet undiscovered potential is my IPAD. Yes, it’s still the 1 but considering I’ve not had time to thrill in all the potential, I’m good with it. One app is the Moodboard that’s been on the thing since I got it but haven’t had a moment to play with until that very moment of Mood = Depressed and no one wants to see that so I focused on mood uplift – putting together pictures from the last year. And yes, the ones above are only from the last year, except the one at the top of me laughing. That picture is about three years old but it is of my best self, relaxing with friends, wearing silly glasses, laughing – My ideal self….
Yep I feel better now…