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Date: 21 October 2018. Halloween 2018.

© janice142

Autumn arrived with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. As the season turned I dug out my Christmas box. The top of it contains a small package with Halloween decorations along with my Thanksgiving dish towel. I decided to put up my few spooky items to herald the coming of Halloween. Of course nothing goes quite as planned.

My Halloween decorations are tucked into a small bag.

Because it is not easy to reach the Christmas box I also took out the Thanksgiving dish towel.
That way it is out and ready. I won't drag out the Christmas box until after Thanksgiving.



Regarding Christmas aboard Seaweed...


I am REALLY hoping to get to Walmart once the Christmas lights are on display. I want to buy some special low-wattage (low power) holiday LED's before the store runs out. Last year I was able to find just two packages. I need more. The plan is to replace the older light strands I have with more energy efficient ones.

As a side note, I am not going to be displaying all of my decorations this year. It was a lot of work putting them out and frankly, well, it was too much. I intend to go smaller this time. As much as I love Christmas, what I love most is the music and my ornaments.


My tree is over 30 years old. The plastic "pine needles" are shedding. It is a real mess and the green bits get everywhere. The tree is more than I want to deal with at this stage of life. The plan is to make a garland out of fabric and pin ornaments to it. The garland will loop around my dinette and above the window by my sink, IF I have enough fabric that is.


Back to Halloween:
Because Seaweed is small I try not to get things too gaudy and cluttered. I prefer a more subtle approach, especially for Halloween. I want my guests to spot the decor versus being hit over the head by Stuff.

Last year I put everything out and frankly, it was too much. I was thoroughly sick of everything before the holiday was over. And too, it was chaotic. Too much is never good. I suppose year 2017 was my Last Hurrah before toning the holiday display down.

This is my entire Halloween collection:

Though small in quantity I believe they add just the right touch to Seaweed.

First things first: I hung the holiday dish towel.

The Boo Ghost towel was bought in Target about ten years ago.

It is fabric with sewn on decorations. The Boo dries dishes well. Over the years the black fabric has faded considerably. Those stitched stripes were much brighter green, orange and white originally. Still it cheers me. I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of the dish towel.

Next to go up is this mummy bear carrying a decorated jack-o-lantern:

The mummy bear was bought in the gift shop of Shand's Hospital in Gainesville. I have always had an affinity for ornaments and this one struck me as special. I liked that the bear was all bandaged up, carrying a pumpkin. His round little tummy made me happy. I bought him.

The Shand's bear became the center of my Halloween decor.

This year I decided to display it above my aft window into the cockpit. There is a small black ledge that is a part of the window frame. That was an Ideal spot, except the bear would fall off. I wanted the bear secured.

That decision brought into play the complications.

The bear needed to sit on the ledge framing my aft window.

I decided to hang the bear from a cup hook above the window frame. The white plastic hook was too large and too low to be of use. In the process of trying to get mummy bear to sit properly I managed to knock down my valance curtain and rod. Argh.

Next I got out one white bottle. This one has eye-screws in it. I can tell that by the hole in the center of the top.

You also might notice the red nail polish accentuating the arrows on the cap and bottle. Those need to
line up in order to open the dang container. Child-proof containers are one bane of my existence.

The whole Packaging Problem could be an entire article. Too many items are difficult to open. Recently I bought something at Home Depot and before I left the store I took it up to Customer Service. The gal there was having a hard time trying to open it. A gent standing behind me opened the package.

I thanked him of course.

Eye-screws are an item I pick up fairly regularly when at Home Depot. I have accumulated a variety of sizes.

For smaller hardware items, I buy one or two extra packages whenever possible. I gather spares slowly as the budget allows. The eye-screws shown above are quite useful. Over the past few years I have acquired a variety of sizes.

Having readily available hardware and spare parts aboard Seaweed means that sometimes I can solve issues by myself.
Calder's is a great book for figuring out things mechanical or electrical. For normal every-day boat stuff though, the jars of stainless hardware without a doubt have been most useful.

This kit was a gift from Kidlet. It is so handy I often wonder how I ever lived without it. I refill it occasionally,
 making sure to have a variety of sizes in the slots. The main supply is stowed in the bottom of a locker.

You DO NOT HAVE to have spares for everything. Frankly I probably have too much money spent on just-in-case parts. With online ordering and overnight shipping readily available, many of my spares are not so essential to have aboard the boat.

Hardware is an entirely different matter. A
variety of screws, nuts and bolts is incredibly useful.

I do derive pleasure knowing I can solve many issues without waiting because I have what is needed in my lockers. That is why I have chosen to acquire spare parts and lots of hardware. Most are for utilitarian uses. Plus there is a bit of ego involved too. I like solving things for myself.

Every problem has a solution. Mechanically I'm not-so-good. That is why I rely on fellows for advice there. I have hired experts and been fortunate enough to have good friends who really came through when I needed it most.

One such mechanic who has earned an outstanding reputation hereabouts is my friend Edwin.

Edwin not only made my engine go, we went out on a little trip up and down Boca Ciega Bay as a
shake-down. On the out-bound side of the trip, we stopped at Madeira Beach Municipal Marina for fuel.

Please understand this: you do not need Everything before you start a boating life. That is poppycock, spouted by Know-It-All elitists. There is time to accumulate gear, and at a reasonable price too if you wait for bargains and sales.

I have a lot of tools and hardware now. Over the ten-plus years I have lived aboard Seaweed I have accumulated more than I ever imagined possible. Plan on adding to whatever you have initially. Also, be on the lookout for bargains. Having ready cash for those items you love will surely be of benefit.

Memory Lane: Back in the day, Daddy used to carry quite a lot of cash on him. He ran across a Princess three-burner stove and oven for $400. Because he could buy it immediately Mother had one of her wishes come true.

The photo is the home I grew up aboard. She was a 40' steel sedan cruiser. This is the galley.

I was fortunate to call her home.

But I digress...

Instead of an eye-screw to hold the bear ornament what I actually needed was a cup-hook holder, so I made one.

First I gripped the EYE-SCREW in my vise grips. Then I pried open the closed loop/eye
at the end with a screwdriver. Voila: one cup hook created from a stainless eye-screw.

I have found that even solid brass cup hooks rust after a while. Stainless lasts longer.

Next I used my pokey stick to start the hole where I wanted the cup hook to be fastened.

That failed. I was not able to screw in the eye-screw/cup hook into the cypress wood.

Now at this point I could have dug out my drilled and made a pilot hole.

When boaters talk about things such as this, listen for words such as "dug out" or "emptied the locker" or "moved the XYZ out of the way". These key phrases translate into A LOT of work.

For instance, to get to my drill I have to move two pillows. Then I can reach the drill and drill bits. After doing that I have to shift my flares in order to access the bilge. In there a plastic bin that contains various extension cords. One is required to use the drill.

Now you should be able to understand why I wanted a different/easier option. The eye-screw point was not going into the cypress overhead.

My solution was to start the hole using another EYE-SCREW that was a bit larger.

Bigger equates to an easier purchase (hold) on the thing. I could hand twist it to get the hole started.



While getting the screw started I knocked the valance rod off the bulkhead.


The valance rod is actually an oak dowel, 36" long. I attach it to the frame of the window using two real cup hooks. I have two eye-screws attached at the ends of the rod. I've used them at Christmastime to hang decorations. Because the cup hook on the left was a little bit smaller than the one on the right side, I notched out a bit of the wooden dowel. Then the dowel fit into the cup hook properly.

LINE to secure the screen to the window frame.

The screen has LOOPS OF 1/8" BRAIDED LINE  attached at the top. I simply drop the loop over the cup hook holder prior to inserting the valance rod/oak dowel. The screen is held in place and is easy to remove for washing.

CUP HOOK secures rod to window frame.

The stainless clip (above photo, upper right corner) is for when I need to pin up a cover over the window to keep out the sunlight. Rather than having to dig out one from my clothespin supply, I have this one readily available.


I am a big advocate of making this life easier. Having items where I need them means less work and more time to enjoy my world.


Finally I had the proper smaller EYE-SCREW inserted into the cypress overhead. It's perfect.

My friend Mabel installed that cypress and it is truly beautiful. The cypress overhead reminds me of the boat I grew up aboard. When I was young the overhead of our 40'er was mahogany. It was dark and rich looking. I love the cypress too, especially because it is lighter. The cypress feels like home, which of course Seaweed is. Thank you again Mabel. It is great!

While the valance rod was down I checked my Kidde CO Alarm. ←affiliate link
I marked the expiration date on the top of the unit in permanent magic marker.

These CO alarms should be at the top of your wall. I have two.
One is just inside the cockpit door and a second is in the pilothouse.

Update circa June 2023: I have a third Kidde CO Alarm down below above my bunk.

With the ornament hanger string safely attached to the cup hook holder, I am sure my bear will be a-okay.

The white hook just to the right of bear is for Christmas decorations. I intend to hang my garland from it.

After the bear was was secure I proceeded to get out my Quake Hold. ←affiliate link

Years ago I bought a package of Quake Hold. It sticks stuff to flat surfaces so they won't fall.

Aboard Seaweed I use Quake Hold to secure my speakers in place, hold my weather glass to the bookcase and a few other things too. It can be reused. After several years I still have nearly 3/4 of the package left. I do not believe this item would work to hold a picture to a wall. With Quake Hold I do not worry about small items shifting when I get waked.

Side Note: I did not use the Quake Hold on the mummy bear ornament. That is because I didn't think of it until it was too late.

I utilized Quake Hold to secure one of the Boo Ghosts to the top of my portlight.

This portlight looks aft. It is in my pilothouse, on the port side. I seldom open it as the screen is gone.

A second Boo Ghost is hidden behind the penguin next to my weather glass.

This Boo was originally sold at Dollar Tree as a lamp finial. I have had it more than ten years.

On occasion folks ask how I have come to have so much. There really is not a secret. I simply take care of what I have. I was raised to repair, not replace. Many of the tools I use came from Daddy. It is old stuff, and well loved. I am truly fortunate.

As for Halloween, I decorate because it pleases me. I revisit my memories of when I acquired the items. For me it is a step back through my past. I enjoy that.

Frankly though, I am more than a little anxious for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Christmas. Also I am on a mission: I want to find at least one more strand of fancy lights for my holiday decor. Wish me luck!

In addition to the Boo Ghost duo, I have a troll. It is a small pin, bought at a thrift store long ago.

I tucked the Troll with his trick-or-treat bag into my net basket over the microwave.

For years I have used tons of lights on my Christmas tree. I bought some candy corn light covers at Dollar Tree. I have some with Santa Claus too. In any event, the hole to go over the light is 3/8" diameter. Because the bolts holding down my solar panels are the same size, I slid four candy-corn covers over the bolt ends.

Candy corn covers hide the bolts from my solar panels.

Because I like Brach's candy corn, I use the light covers as part of my Halloween decor.

The final piece of Halloween decor is a cat. I found that at Hobby Lobby for 10 cents after Halloween one year.

I display the mahogany stained cat each Halloween. This year it sits via Quake Hold atop a battery powered light.

Some people go all out for the holiday. For instance, this baby Aragog spider is on a dock box in Titusville.

Aragog is the spider Hagrid from the
Harry Potter series raised and freed into the Forbidden Forest.

And that ladies and gents is my story. Halloween is alive aboard Seaweed.

As for me, I am so looking forward to Christmas. There is a new Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite coming out in November too. Be still my heart!

Thank you for reading.

I'd love to hear what you do for Halloween.
And, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

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