Date: 28 November 2017. Paralyzed by
Planning (includes sundries list)
times, I've run on at the fingers. You might want to pour yourself a
cup of hot chocolate and gather a few cookies too. I wrote rather a
lot. I've missed y'all, and below details some of what all has been
occurring in my world.
I have been
Paralyzed by Planning. You see, shortly I'll be taking off for the
east coast. I don't anticipate visiting a grocery store until
February. Figuring out what I will want is one thing. The larger
part of the problem however is storage. There's not much on a small
boat such as Seaweed. Most of my difficulty is a direct result of my
own paralysis however.
Of course I
want things "right" and that means that
I try one thing, then another. All of that takes time.
Outings over to Gulfport are a fun diversion. Skipper
gets her nails done at Reef Dog Grooming in Gulfport.
It is a few short blocks from the dinghy dock and anchorage to Reef
Grooming. Phone 727-323-7007.
I am aware I could save the $5 fee charged by
Reef Dog Grooming by clipping Skip's nails myself. Skipper behaves
much better for the gals at the shop than for me. Her nails are
mostly black and I'd rather not risk injuring my First Mate. Hiring
an expert for this job is worth it to me, especially at the price
charged by Reef.
been said that a woman's mind is like an open Internet Explorer
browser, with a million tabs loading. There is a great deal off
accuracy in that statement when it comes to how my brain functions.
It is always busy.
Planning for departure has
kept me busy. I have appreciated the rides to grocery stores, Big
Lots, Walmart and more. There's always one more thing that I
remember. That is frustrating. When I think I've finished at a store
and find I want another item sold at that particular shop I become
irritated with myself.
worse is asking for a ride back to a place I was JUST at. Folks
quite naturally wonder why I cannot get everything in one trip. It
is very frustrating to arrive home and remember that I needed to
pick up some 10x24 nuts and 3/4" bolts in the same size. Plus a few
more eyebolts (screw variety) would be handy too... Argh!!!
I do write
lists. I also manage to misplace the lists all too frequently.
details my system. The index cards do work when I keep track of
This is me. ↓ I'm both the Mom and Dennis!
I love my home to be well organized. When it's
procrastinate. That is a bad habit of mine.
Reading on my Kindle is pure
pleasure. Curling up in my warm comfy bunk with a hot cup of cocoa and a
dime-store novel (think: old sci-fi) on the Kindle is wonderful.
Life does not get much better.
Skipper is NOT allowed on my Kindle. This was an ut-oh
moment atop my bed.
I love my warm bunk and
Comfy Cruise 12-volt electric
I also need sundries that make my
life more pleasant. They include:
Suave Moroccan lotion
Oil for lanterns
Paraffin for lanterns
Citronella oil for lantern
Fuel for generator
Clorox spray cleanser
Heart worm medicine
Medicine in case I get
Mint Chocolate truffles by
Dehydrated ginger candy
I have been canning chicken of
late. Chicken is inexpensive. I can buy a ten-pound bag of leg
quarters for $5. Skinned and boned, I end up with four pounds of
pure healthy chicken.
In the meantime Seaweed is a disaster! I've got stuff out, lockers
emptied, others won't close as there's too much stuff in there...
generally I've got a mess on my hands. Fitting in the newest jars
into the designated food locker was more difficult than I imagined.
another case of canning jars was perhaps not the brightest idea I've
ever come up with. I thought (there I go again!) that the locker had
plenty of space for them. I was mistaken.
complaining, not too much. You see, while at anchor having
pre-cooked ready to eat food is such a blessing. Were I to decide I
want chicken I can immediately have some. By canning meats I am not
tied to a grocery store.
For those of us without
large capacity refrigerators and freezers, canning offers a way
to enjoy beef, pork and chicken without the need for
refrigeration. For those that prefer store-bought, you can buy
these items already prepared.
Advice: Shake the can. If
the food inside sloshes, you're paying for a lot of liquid and
not so much of the good stuff.
I have fun canning. There
is a sense of accomplishment in finishing a batch of jars. If
you want to learn how I do it, start here:
(Preserving Meats, Part 1)
Processing in Pressure Cooker
Meats, Part 2)
Chicken leg quarters
↑ canned in broth.
Life at anchor differs from
when tied to a dock. Not having access to a grocery store means I
must have all I need aboard Seaweed. And frankly I've been Paralyzed
by Planning. Just when I believe I have all the items I could
possibly want, I read a recipe and think "oh, that would be nice" at
shopping list grows with each Good Idea that crosses my mind.
Today I went to a local grocery store called Aldi's. I bought
blackberries and raspberries. Some I'll can and the rest will be
eaten. I've made a lot of preserves, jams and sauces of late. A
girl's got to have her sweets.
My old shirts ↑ become
disposable cleaning cloths.
I was also
fortunate enough to recently visit the local Salvation Salvation Army store. I had cut
into work rags two formerly white shirts that were stained. They
needed replacement. The shirt I found cost just $3. I manage to look
presentable on a budget because of thrift stores.
Salvation Army thrift store I also found a new nightie. It is
wintertime so I wanted something with sleeves that was not flannel.
I already have a long flannel gown. I look like my grandmother when
wearing it. I am
temperature plummets, looks are not quite such a concern. I am
vintage and I want to be comfortable.
Sipping a cup of chocolate while reading a regency Christmas
anthology on my Kindle... that's a good life I can assure you.
Add to all
that, it's almost time for the St. Pete Boat Show. That begins
Thursday, 30 November and ends on Sunday the 3rd of December. Be
sure to say "ahoy" if you spot me there. I'll be attending.
In previous years I have met
lots of old
friends and made some new ones too.
Janice and Marty
Please be sure to say "ahoy"
see me at the boat show. I'd like that.
Every single storage space on
Seaweed has been emptied, cleaned, and organized within the past
month or two. Some have been done multiple times. I have gotten rid
of two bags of clothes. The diet has been progressing well (I hit my
initial target) so I pitched the items that are too big.
I bought a
new shirt today. I was not able to find a skirt though. Not yet at
shopping at a thrift store is such a treat. I do need to get back
there again as I need to replenish my long sleeved white shirt
supply. I bought a few back in December and January. Thrift stores
have them for about $3 each. I can work with that.
stores I can find cool things for my Grand.
The blue dress and binoculars were thrift store
why's for my purchases
are described in the
in Touch with Grandchildren
I also buy
skirts at thrift stores.
My friend Cheryl spotted a
blue paisley wrap-around skirt at a local thrift store. I call
her my Fashion Consultant. Cheryl has the best eye for what
looks good. I'm bad at that.
My "style" (and that word is
used very loosely) is to wear a skirt and a long sleeved white
shirt. It works for me. One of these days I might come around
and wear a patterned blouse however I would not bet on that
happening any time in this decade.
TEAR in skirt
with patch behind it.
I simply stitch back and
forth over the tear.
Next I cut away the excess patch fabric.
The skirt was perfect
when purchased. I am not always graceful. Unfortunately I tore
it while climbing over the transom of Seaweed.
Yes I am still planning
on having a tuna door cut into the transom. I am
really REALLY tired of climbing over. Before that happens
however I need to buy two big heavy duty hinges plus the
latches to keep the door closed. I'm still in the Trying to
Assemble Parts portion of that project.
Once I've secured the
hardware required, I can have the tuna door built.
Because the skirt is patterned, the tear
nearly invisible when I'm wearing it.
Boat clothing for me is
chosen by virtue of how it functions. I need to be able to
climb over the transom so a full skirt is best. The fabric
cannot wrinkle. Finally, I want the item to dry quickly.
For me wrap-around skirts
are ideal. As I'm losing weight, mostly they adjust to the new
One of my biggest Sins is buying stuff and not installing it. I have
a pre-filter for my water system. One is installed. The secondary
housing has been tucked under the sink in my head. That is
ridiculous. It needs to be used.
something and not utilizing it is a poor use of resources. Having the
clutter and chaos does me absolutely no good at all. I have a
terrible time writing when there is disorder in my life. Putting
things away makes my soul happy.
And too, I
have not taken my girl
from the dock in
a couple weeks.
When I am dock-bound I get testy.
On the other hand, I have started a gazillion projects. Best of all
I have had a great deal of success too. I've learned more about
feeding myself on a budget in the past two months than I have in a
lifetime. A true epiphany occurred. The sense of happiness is
permeating my being. I can't wait to share it with my readers.
will be in a separate article upcoming. I've got to process the
Big Lots is a discount store in my area.
LED's that suited Seaweed there.
I bought several of these lights.
They are installed *everywhere.
*Definition of everywhere: Two in
the bilge, one under my galley sink, one above the sink in my head,
another attached to the microwave, one just inside my forward cabin
on the bulkhead... you get the idea. Every place I thought hand's
free light would be convenient, I added a
LED Cordless Light.
These lights are Extremely
For power, they use four AAA batteries. The
buttons don't work. Use a screw instead.
Amazon offers a set of two for $8.
I paid $4 for one at Big Lots. Affiliate link:
LED Cordless Lights
Sometimes running a wire to an out-of-the-way spot is simply a
hassle. At my age I've found if something is not easy, I won't do
it. I like easy, and these lights are easy. I will say initially I bought
two and ended up returning to the store and bought several more.
Hurricane Irma I loaned two of my
Cordless Lights to
a new friend named Walter. He is 93 years young, living alone over
on Madeira Beach in one of the older beach houses. Walter was
without power for several days after the storm. These lights lit his
world until the electric was restored.
goodness hurricane season is over.
This is Treasure Key, over in the Bahamas.
My friend Irene was anchored there just last week.
The "plan" is to meet Irene over in Fort Pierce this February. All
my plans are written in beach sand and the tide is incoming. Still,
with a departure in early December that should give me plenty of
time to meander on over.
I tend to go very slowly. Out there I am where I want to be. When
the views are interesting I stop and enjoy them. A twenty mile day
is plenty. There have been days when I've just moved the boat around
the bend of a river. When the wildlife is plentiful I'll stop. After
all, I'm already where I want to be.
This is Saul Creek. It's a favorite. I introduced
to Saul Creek in the
Seaweed life is blessed. I am happiest at anchor with a well-stocked
larder. My lockers are currently filled. I still have a few goodies
I'd like to add however nothing is imperative. I have all I need and
much of what I want. Truly I am fortunate.
If the simple things intrigue you, this life could be yours too. The
first steps are difficult. Breaking the bounds of land is a hard for
some folks. When I first started out life was far from decadent. I
had a plan, and now nearly ten years later I have reached a level of
comfort that satisfies me.
The secret of
getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is
breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable
tasks, and then starting on the first one. Mark Twain.
If you want
to go cruising, you can make that happen. Your boat might not be
ideal today however improvements can be made. Buy the right boat,
then make her better.
This is Steve's Mainship40
↑ over at the Madeira Beach
American Legion. She is a beauty.
That's my sangria. I spotted the boat and later learned it belonged
to a fellow from TrawlerForum.
How cool is that? Friendships span
the waterways... folks you say "ahoy" to online end up cruising the
same waters as you. I met in real life Eva and her husband after
chatting with them online. That was cool. Hopefully I'll run into
them again as I'll be heading past their *homeport on my way to Fort
*Homeport: The place where your
boat hails from. On the transom your boat will have a homeport
listed. Mine says Pensacola, FL. That is where my daughter resides.
Generally speaking your home port is where your boat is most of the
Skipper is standing on the swim platform made by Mabe.
Part of the homeport is showing.
I put the letters on myself. The boat rocked and the lettering is a
bit wobbly. It suits me fine.
Are there still things I want to improve aboard my Seaweed? Yes, of
course. A tuna door is on The List. I'd like an autopilot some day
too. AIS would be nice. A radar before I venture into foggy areas
would be ideal. There are improvements to be made, leaks to track
down and stop, plus maintenance. Always, always there is
TrawlerForum said it best:
"Even as we sit here
quietly at the dock,
enjoying our drinks, things are breaking."
has enough solar panels to supply my needs and wants for power.
Really, there is no difference in my life at anchor and tied to a
dock... except I'm happier at anchor.
So too is Island Time... anchoring out with
the accoutrements of
life is an amazing thing.
Like Seaweed, Island Time has solar panels. Solar
provides most of the power used aboard Seaweed.
I am grateful to Larry and his
wife because now I have enough solar panels to power my
refrigerator. That is a true blessing. I appreciate so much having
those last two solar panels. They put me over the edge when it comes
to power. Side note: I have 445 watts now.
Life at anchor
is wonderful. As my hearing deteriorates (everything else
is too!) outside voices have become distracting. I prefer listening
to the birds squawk, dolphin breathing, fish splashing and the wind
blowing. This is the world I grew up in aboard our 40'er. Details
can be found in
The Fishing Boat
This was home until I grew up
and married a
good looking land-lubber. What was I thinking?!?
Isn't she pretty? Daddy built her of steel in 1956.
Being underway is Stressful. I
function best when well rested so short days meet my needs. As I
have yet to acquire an autopilot, I'm steering all the time. For
details on that read the
Tyranny of the Tiller (pre-purchase advice)
article. That article
in particular definitely belongs in the "wish I'd known that first"
Regardless of the constant steering while
cruising, I am delighted
with my home. Every boat has stuff the owner wants done or is
considering. For me, there's The List. In the meantime I am having
a wonderful time.
are brimming with good things to eat. I have the Christmas tree up
and am listening to the holiday music. I look forward to Christmas
at anchor. I'm not sure just where that will be at this point.
Someplace south of St. Pete for certain.
Thursday the St. Pete Boat Show begins. I'll be attending as many
days as possible. I like boat shows. Be sure to say "ahoy" if you
see me. And thanks for reading through to the end. I appreciate
Comments welcome and encouraged on
Paralyzed by Planning (includes
Announcement: I did start a few months ago emailing notices
to readers when new articles go up. If you'd like to be included via BCC*
simply drop me a line to
email@example.com and I'll add you. It's free.
*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have
your email address and the list of subscribers is not available.
Now this is not fancy. Basically I copy off the top three
items in my Archive file. That way you can catch up if life gets in the
way of your reading fun.
Secret: If you want to know what's what, start in the
offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in
each article published on my website.
My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my
links. It costs you nothing and helps supplement my cruising funds. I
appreciate it so much when you click through my site's Amazon links. It
really does help keep me afloat.
Pet of the Week:
aboard MSV Wanderlust
Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your
More canine, feline and feathered
crew members can be found on the
The First Mate Gallery
Archive holds a
chronological list of every item published on my website. It includes a
brief synopsis (not just the title) along with the topics covered in each
Click on the title and voila: you're
Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire
Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a
papillon mix. She weighs in at 4 pounds 3 ounces.
Making a pattern for an Alternator Bracket
Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life
Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)
For years I've been collecting short
pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy
the weird, go ahead and
These are previously posted at the
bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.
Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.
The above chart (#411) can be a
wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go
next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for
download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!
The Writer's Block
It's my belief that other folks who
boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater
is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or
even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near
the water. Suggested topics include:
1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing
For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend
you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory
from years ago that you still recall.
Life has changed so much on the
water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories
of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much
slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have
become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:
Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of
Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads
and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to
Do you want to help
Often an article for the website
will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am
looking for some for up-coming pieces:
Pets afloat (include pet and boat
Any picture of boats underway or at
Photos of people enjoying life in
or on the water
Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels
across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized
for emailing. I prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd
like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And
My email address is